Our community building projects continue to give vulnerable communities in Zambia access to new education and health facilities.

Our 2021 Impact Study shows evidence of the growth and impact they generate. The involvement of community members has been phenomenal, and the new buildings have often acted as catalyst for further improvements within the community.

Our 2021 Impact Study focused on our community build projects from years 2015, 2018 and 2019:

  • Hope Partner Training
  • Kamaila Community School
  • Katuba Community School
  • Machaya Community School
  • Mukuyu Community School
  • Mutaba Health Clinic
  • Mwala Community School
  • Naluyanda Community School

The study included:

  • Observational visits to each project
  • 22 focus group discussions
  • 29 Most Significant Change stories gathered
  • 27 key informant interviews

Our thanks to everyone who took part in the study.

Participants of the study talked about the poor learning environment for the children prior to the community build projects. Children would either travel long distances to other schools, or they stayed out of education.

The 2021 study shows that the overall number of children across the seven schools has increased from 2,891 to 3,510 – an increase of 21% from before the community builds started (baseline).

Enrolment has increased in all the schools apart from Hope Partner School. Discussions with the school suggest that COVID-19 was a major contributor to a 38% reduction.

Naluyanda Community School has seen a 191% increase from 289 pupils to 849 pupils within a two-year period.

The study counted a total of 71 teachers across the seven schools, reflecting a 27% increase from before our involvement at the schools.

The average number of teachers was eight per school, with a wide margin ranging from five teachers to Mukuyu School to 20 teachers at Mwala School.

Five schools saw a positive growth in the number of teachers. However Hope Partner School saw a 40% decrease and Machaya School a 17% decrease. Naluyanda School saw an increase of 180% from five teachers in 2018, to 14 teachers in 2021.

65% of the 71 teachers were government teachers. This is an increase of 21% from baseline.

The new Mutaba Health Clinic was constructed in 2015 and continues to help local people access integrated health services. The clinic is well equipped and is fully supported by the Ministry of Health, local community and other agencies such as USAID. The Neighbourhood Health Committee continues to play a pivotal role in the clinic’s activities.

The proximity of a well-resourced health facility has meant that local people have easier access to primary health care. This has helped improve uptake of services and health outcomes. The clinic offers a range of healthcare services including maternal and child health services, COVID-19 testing, vaccination services and youth-friendly services. Feedback from those who took part in the study was highly positive, celebrating the provision of treatment services, as well as health prevention and health promotion activities.

A key observation is community members’ profound sense of ownership. Investment in school infrastructures has positively impacted on community attitudes towards education, with greater interest in school by learners and their families. Most schools have experienced growth in enrolment and increased staffing capacity. The Government has responded by providing teachers and upgrading most of these schools to exam centres.

However, high demand is often resulting in over-enrolment. This exerts pressure on the few buildings and teacher-pupil ratios are still very high. All this can compromise the quality of education that the children receive.

In 2021 the Zambian Government renewed its declaration of free primary education, directing all schools to stop charging any form of fees for pupils, and restating that no pupil should be denied enrolment or excluded from schools because of an ability to pay any levy. Although well received, respondents mentioned concerns about the capacity of schools to cope with increased enrolment while the policy is implemented.

The shortage of staff accommodation is a challenge for most schools where pupil-teacher ratios are high. This was also reported at Mutaba Health Centre, where nursing staff could not find local accommodation.

“My names are Mwamba Victor and I am privileged to be Headteacher of Katuba Primary School. This school started as a community school in 2001 and Build It came in 2014 to build a classroom block.

The coming of Build It educated the people concerning the importance of education, parents started to value and treasure education. Parents and youths were also empowered with skills like bricklaying, plastering and roofing; they were involved in building the school and this made them have interest in the school. They felt the sense of owning the school. The school is surrounded by parents who have a willing heart.

Since Build It, we have managed to build a 1 x 3 classroom block, we have also built a round hut for the young ones. Previously there were only two teachers on government payroll. Today we are eight plus two who are paid by the community, and that makes us 10.

In the year 2019 we had 105 children. Now we have 315 pupils who have enrolled. Learner performance has improved and this is solely facilitated by the fact that the school has increased staffing levels and the infrastructure that gives the pupils a conducive learning environment.

We plan to have enough and decent accommodation for our teachers, which is next in our line of action. We also need more classrooms. We have plans of building a library, because reading and writing are one of the key things that our pupils must learn in school.”