Building a Community School by the Zambezi River, Zambia

Come for one week, one month, or longer!



  • To raise funds for the construction of a community school in rural Africa
  • To recruit volunteers to help with this rewarding project in Zambia, near the historic town of Livingstone and the Victoria Falls

BACKGROUND: Since 2008, headmen and villagers from a group of neighbouring villages on the banks of the Zambezi, in Zambia's Southern Province, have been working together to set up Nandavu Community School. Before then, there was no education provision for the young children of the area.

In Zambia, community schools are set up, financed and run by local residents. All costs for construction, educational materials, teachers' salaries, classroom furniture and other resources are borne by the community. The Government does not provide support for a community school until that school is well established.

The teachers at Nandavu Community School hold morning lessons for over 60 children in the mud/thatch church building in the village. There are no desks, no storage space for books and stationery, and no facility for putting up posters and displays of children's work. The teachers are doing their best to offer pre-school education in this environment and parents pay a monthly school fee to support them.

At the start of 2008, the school committee approached Jungle Junction, a nearby eco-tourist camp, to help with the development of Nandavu Community School. Through personal contacts and the generosity of visitors to the camp, funds were donated to begin the building programme. In May 2008, Evelyn Roe (a researcher with a local NGO) offered to assist with fund-raising and recruiting volunteers to help build the school.

The Classroom


US$30 000 is needed to complete construction and furnishing of the first building, which will consist of two classrooms and an office. The main building period is from April to October, with block-moulding continuing whenever materials are available.


This is a grass-roots project, initiated by parents who value education. Chief Sekute has given his approval and the Headmen have allocated a plot of land for the new school. Villagers are collecting locally available building materials and providing free labour. The Chair of the School Committee, Mr. Godfrey Kalemba, encourages the participation of many members of the community, not only the parents of the children presently attending lessons. A qualified and experienced builder is overseeing construction to ensure that the classrooms are built to a high standard.

Gap-year students and other volunteers are invited to assist the community with this worthwhile project. Tucked away in a peaceful village by the Zambezi River, it's only an hour's drive from Livingstone and the Victoria Falls. We meet volunteers in Livingstone and bring them to Jungle Junction's Bovu Island camp, where they stay during their time at the project. The island is just opposite the village and school.

Children outside their school

Contact the co-ordinator for further information.

Evelyn Roe: