The School Club Zambia

This Entry has been submitted.

The School Club Zambia: Education through vocation

Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The School Club Zambia is a Zambian Non-Governmental Organisation and UK Charity working in partnership with schools to start and manage school-run businesses with the aim of generating much needed funds for school resources and opportunities for vocational education.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

attending a community school in Zambia was no longer a disadvantage but equipped you with the skills and confidence for a brighter tomorrow?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There are over 5,000 community schools in Zambia who provide over 1.5 million children and young people with a primary education. By their very nature, community schools serve some of the most under-privledged children in the country and statistics for community school pupils continuing on to gain a secondary education are in stark comparison to Government primary schools pupils.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Community schools are almost completely reliant on their ability to independently raise funds and many turn to small income generating projects as a solution. However, the start-up funding for these projects are often insufficient and the technical know-how at the school level is limited. This is where SCZ seeks to address the school and pupils core problems on a long term basis. As a grassroot organisation we understand that supporting schools needs to go beyound once off grant funding for projects. It is for this reason that we work with each school enrolled on our programme for an average of 5 years, during which time we provide ongoing techincal support including assistance on integrating businesses into the curricular.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The School Club Zambia has been supporting Kariba South School since 2012, assisting the school to an establish an organic garden and a tailoring centre. The school is located in the rural fishing village of Siansowa where less than 20% of girls will continue onto secondary school and many of the parents rely on the depleting fish stocks of Lake Kariba to make a living. Kariba South's pupils commonly share one book between 20 in their lessons; the window panes are almost all broken and two grades must be taught outside under a mango tree due to lack of classrooms. The garden and the tailoring centre provide the school with an independent source of income which the school is slowly building up to tackle their most urgent problems.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The impact of a school enterprise like a organic garden is two-fold: 1) SCZ assists the school to integrate the business into the curriculum through our monthly young farmers club. One of our pupils recently started her own garden at home and is selling the produce in the local market to pay for school books - this is remarkable in a village where people traditionally fish rather than farm. When a school business is integrated into the curricular it expands opportunities for vocational education, which is crucial when so many pupils will finish their education at the primary level. 2) The income generated at Kariba South has to date paid for renovations on the school's toilets and additional income has been banked for a new classroom block which will hopefully be started next year.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The SCZ work with a school for an average of 5 years, helping to start and manage between 4 - 6 businesses. The Ministry of Education altered the Zambian curriculum in January 2014 to make vocational education compulsory at the primary level which makes our strategy for increasing vocational education now inline with the Government's plans. Our 3 year strategy, which currently runs until 2016, hopes to see this model implemented to full at our 4 targeted schools, with schools being able to independently implement their own development plans using this self-generated income.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The School Club Zambia has a diverse fundraising strategy which includes funding partnerships in both the UK and Zambia. In addition we are hoping to start our own leather based social enterprise in 2015 which will help reduce the organization's reliance on donations in order to cover our overheads.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The lead NGOs on school-run businesses are Teach a Man to Fish and PEAs, however neither of these organizations work specifically with community schools in Zambia nor do they have the grassroots presence to support these vulnerable schools sufficiently in the same way the School Club Zambia does.

Founding Story

Lois' passion for improving the long-term quality of education in Zambia's community schools started at age 22, when she unexpectedly found herself volunteering for a community school for 6 months. The lack of resources, high turn over of staff and vulnerability of the pupils was heart wrenching but after a few years of work within the country it became apparent that this was the norm for community schools rather than the exception. Many community schools have inspiring individuals behind their formation and dedicated communities invested in seeing them succeed. However a lack of access to funding makes it almost impossible for these schools to provide a qualitative education to their pupils.