Tujatane School is a place close to my heart. I have been visiting this amazing school in Livingstone, Zambia regularly over the past 6 years while working as an interior designer with the Tongabezi Lodge next to the school - Abi James
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, so she had a background in teaching.
Tongabezi Lodge donated the money to build a single open-plan classroom, and on May 1st 1996 fifteen very excited children had their first day at school. Vanessa gave the school the name Tujatane, meaning ‘let’s all hold hands together’ in the local language, Chitonga. She agreed to run the school on an entirely voluntary basis.
Today, over 23 years later, Tujatane School has over 280 current 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 Tujatane on a number of occasions. The children participate in a variety of extracurricular activities such as sports, music, drama, cultural dance and art.
Over 2 years ago, myself and the school created an after school jewellery 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 pieces to sell at Tongabezi Lodge shop to raise money for the school. It is run by Laila, a brilliant teacher (above right) who has a keen interest in jewellery. SOUL Design regularly donates beads for the project and I plan to go up again a little later in the year.
Have a look at the Tujatane 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.