COVID-19: Our response

27 March 2020.

Message from Build It International Chief Executive Andrew Jowett:

In these unprecedented and challenging times, I’d like to bring you up to date with how Build It is responding to the disruption and uncertainty.

Courage and collaboration are the Build It values coming to the fore at the moment and I am very proud of the way everyone is responding.

Training at our Centre for Excellence in Lusaka was put on hold from Friday 20 March, in line with the Zambian Government directive for educational institutions. We will keep in regular contact with our current 80 trainees and look forward to welcoming them back as soon as possible. The community schools we are working with are also closed.

Zambia is not yet in lock-down and construction work at Chitukuko Community School and the Centre for Excellence continues but this may change at short notice. Planning work continues for our 2020 community projects, but we are preparing for start dates to be pushed back if necessary.

Staff safety is paramount and we are closely following advice and guidance from the UK and Zambia Governments. The UK team is working from home (we had a useful practice during the recent flooding in Shrewsbury) and using video conferencing to keep in touch with our partners and supporters. Where possible our Zambia team is also working from home.

As well as keeping staff and trainees safe we are taking a range of decisions to ensure that Build It emerges from this global crisis in a sound state and able to resume our training programme to its full capacity. I have been working with our Senior Management Team and Board to update our Business Continuity Plan. For the moment non-project discretionary expenditure has been postponed.

We have been really encouraged by the expressions of support and commitment from so many of our supporters and funding partners to work with us through this period. Thank you!

Our mission remains intact and now, more than ever, we are committed to building brighter futures in Zambia. I encourage you to read an uplifting profile of Elizabeth – a young woman whose life is changing because of your support.

Please stay safe and stay in touch. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Best wishes


Andrew Jowett OBE
Chief Executive