Tujatane School is a place close to my heart. I have been visiting this amazing school in Livingston, Zambia regularly over the past 6 years while working as an interior designer for the Tongabezi lodge next to the school.
In 1995 a group of Tongabezi lodge staff approached Vanessa, the wife of Ben Parker who owns Tongabezi lodge, and asked her to open a pre school so that their children could learn how to read. Vanessa had initially come out to Zambia to volunteer with VSO as she had a background in teaching. Tongabezi lodge donated the money to build a single open plan classroom and on May 1st 1996, 15 very excited children had their first day at school.
Vanessa gave the school the name Tijantane, meaning 'let's all hold hands together' the local language Chitonga. She agreed to run the school on an entirely voluntary basis.
Today, over 23 years later, Tujantane school has over 280 students and is made up of a number of classrooms as well as an art room, music room, amphitheatre, sports ground, library and a canteen. The current president of Zambia has visited Tujantane on a number of occasions. The children participate in a number of extra curricular activity such as sports, music, drama, cultural dance and art.
Over two years ago, together with the school I created an after school jewellery workshop project. I run a two day jewellery workshop about twice a year and now the strong team of eager students meet once a week to make jewellery piece to sell at Tongazei lodge shop to raise money for the school. It is run by Laila, a brilliant teacher who has a keen interest in jewellery.
SOUL design regularly donates beads for the project and I plan to go up a little later in the year.
Have a look at the Tujantane website, and if you are interested in supporting the future of Africa, this is a fantastic place to start with 100% of proceeds going directly into their school.