Dwankhozi Primary School is located approximately 70 kilometers (km) from the town of Chipata, in the Eastern Province of Zambia on the Chipata-Lundazi road. The name Dwankhozi is derived from the river of the same name which is in the Chipangali area of Chipata. Dwankhozi covers an area of approximately 20 km with several neighboring villages. Many of the girls and boys from these villages are seriously lacking in proper nutrition, mental and physical health, and education or training. While there are a few government schools in the surrounding areas, access to these schools is difficult for the youths of Dwankhozi area and the surrounding villages due to the natural terrain and lack of transportation.
The local community took action in March 2003 and originally built this program to provide a better opportunity for their children. It started with 300 children, grades 1-4, one unpaid volunteer teacher, no supplies and no school building. What they did have was passion and dedication to give their children. Since that time, the school has continued to grow and evolve, serving twice as many students from twice as many grades. Dwankhozi Hope, the stateside organization, first got involved by helping complete construction on the first school buildings. Since then, our work has expanded to include projects beyond education. But Dwankhozi Primary School continues to be a centerpoint of our work with the community, connecting children to the education they deserve.
Since its beginnings, Dwankhozi Primary School has expanded and now offers classes to children up to 9th grade. The program currently serves roughly 600 children, many of whom are orphans whose parents were impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The school is run by a headmaster, a team of trained teachers, and a handful of volunteer teachers, while being supported by an active PTA. Due to economic hardships and extreme poverty in this region of Zambia, it is difficult for the school to provide on its own the necessary basic tools and textbooks required for providing a quality education.
What Has Been Accomplished
Together with our donors and the remarkable commitment and dedication of the Dwankhozi community, we have come a long way from where we started. Not only has the original school building been completed, we’ve expanded into new classroom buildings and additional teacher housing. This growth has allowed the student body to grow to 600 kids, and attract government-funded, trained teachers. A bore-hole for clean drinking water for the entire community has been delivered. The school is also supplied with solar power, allowing students to access electronic readers – 60 are available at the school. Recognizing that students began to graduate from Grade 9 and not have the means to continue their education, Dwankhozi Hope also launched a sponsorship program that supports the continued education of students who progress to secondary school and beyond. Check the “Projects” tab at the top of the page to learn how this project has now evolved, at the direction of the Dwankhozi community, into the construction of a local secondary school to make this furthering education more accessible for all.
More To Come
We are excited about Dwankhozi Primary School’s future. The drive and determination in the community has only gotten stronger since this school began. Partnerships with World Reader and Queen Anne Elementary have expanded our capabilities and outreach in both Zambia and Seattle. Check out our ‘Projects’ tab at the top of the page to learn more.