What we do


“These construction skills are the vine that gives forth branches: the employment opportunities which change our lives” Koliya Siyapeya, Build It Graduate


Skills and knowledge are the foundations upon which we all build our careers, our families and communities, our confidence and even our identities.

And yet, millions of young people around the world are denied access to even the most basic schooling or skills training. With every day that passes, more and more of these young people fall through the cracks. Forgotten and ignored, they are destined to live below the poverty line and never achieve their true potential.

Build It has developed a simple yet highly effective model for poverty relief in Africa:

  • Our Training into Work programme is enabling thousands of unemployed young people in Zambia to secure valuable building skills and other vocational qualifications. Their new skills means they can find work, earn a living and provide for their families. It helps transform the prospects of thousands of young people and their families.
  • Our approach also helps ensure that communities have access to a skilled workforce – resulting in much-improved schools, clinics and homes. Our community building projects bring essential services to some of Zambia’s most disadvantaged communities.

Our impact

Our approach was developed where it matters the most – at the grassroots. We believe it enables us to have a genuinely sustainable impact on the lives of young people, their families and their communities.

We continue to test and refine our approach. Every year we fund an independent impact study. It provides strong evidence of the difference we are making in people’s lives, and helps us to see what we can do better.

Our work positively impacts on the following Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) to create a better world by 2030:

SDG 1 - No poverty
SDG 4 - Quality Education
SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth
SDG 5 - Gender equality

Build It has a strong track record of promoting the participation of women on all our skills training courses, ensuring 20% of our trainees are women.

We now aim to increase this to 50%. Build It’s new Women’s Empowerment Programme aims to economically and socially empower disadvantaged Zambian girls and young women, by helping them to develop the skills and confidence they need to survive and thrive.

Fridah was one of our trainees who helped to build Chitukuko Community School. With her new skills, Fridah is able to support her family including her son Justin.

“I had to leave school early because my parents couldn’t afford the fees,” said Fridah. “This meant that my job options were few, so when I heard about the building training it was too good to pass up. I didn’t think I would like building this much, I’m surprised! Plastering and roofing are my favourite jobs.”

Justin is able to study Maths, his favourite subject, in one of the three large classrooms at the school. 

“I like the job my Mum does,” says Justin, “I like that she built my school and I think she is very strong!”

Photo credit: Jennifer Bruce for Communication for Development Ltd

Thousands of young people and their communities in Zambia are enjoying brighter futures thanks to your support