Zambezi Sawmills Community School, 2022 – 2023


Zambezi Sawmills Community School is situated on the edge of the town of Livingstone, in the southern province of Zambia. It is at the heart of a dense, peri-urban area. With a local population of over 23,000, most households are economically vulnerable and living under the poverty line.

It is a thriving school, but with pupil numbers continuing to grow the school did not have enough classrooms. New classrooms would help ease overcrowding, as well as allowing the school to take in some of the children they currently have to turn away at the school gates.

The school had managed to acquire six computers. But with no secure dedicated space for them, the computers could not be left out and had to be packed and put away at the end of each session. This cut into precious learning time.

There were also challenges with sanitation with over 900 pupils, plus teachers, sharing just 11 toilets.

Old classrooms at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Grade 5 at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Teacher Nelson and Grade 3 at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

What we did with your support:

  • Built a four-classroom, including one dedicated ICT room. This will help the school leverage support for additional computers, and will ensure pupils can learn the vital IT skills that we all need to thrive in the modern world. All classrooms are built to Build Its standard specifications, and oversized at 64sqm to accommodate as many learners as possible. They are light and airy, and a ramp ensures that the classrooms are accessible to everyone.
  • Built a much needed toilet block. We usually build ventilated pit latrines at many of our school projects as there is often no access to running water. However this school is situated very close to an urban area, and benefits from connection to water and drainage systems for flushing toilets. The new toilet block has two male cubicles, plus urinal wall. In the centre there is a ramp leading to a unisex, disabled toilet with handrails. On the other side we built four female cubicles, including one with a tap and wash space to support girls to manage their periods.
  • Recruited 23 young people from the community teaching them new skills in construction. They learnt on the job, helping to build the new facilities for their local school. Their new skills means new opportunities to find work and to provide for their families.

New classrooms at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Pupils inside new classrooms at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

New toilet block at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

The provision of safe, private toilets for girls is vital. Absenteeism from school each month is one of the biggest contributors to girls dropping out of school altogether, with significant long-term impact on their education, health and livelihood.

Trainees graduating at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Congratulations to all the trainees who helped to build these new facilities. They graduated from our Training into Work programme with new skills and renewed hope to build themselves a brighter future

The local community and the school’s Parent Community School Committee (PCSC) have enthusiastically supported this project. They contributed over 40 tonnes of building sand, as well as providing labour to help clear the site and excavations for the building foundations.

All buildings were completed and used from February 2023. They were officially handed over to a very happy school in May 2023.

Thank you for your support – together we are #BuildingBrighterFutures.

Foundation excavations in progress at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Concrete slab down at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Trainees working on the classroom block at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Construction of new classrooms at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Pupils in lesson at Zambezi Sawmills Community School