What is Dwankhozi Hope?

Dwankhozi Hope (DH) is a non-profit organization, whose purpose is to support a specific community school and provide hope to economically disadvantaged children within this community. The children of Dwankhozi are all too familiar with extreme poverty and AIDs. There are approximately 600 students at Dwankhozi Community School (DCS); many have been left orphaned by AIDS. Many are seriously lacking in proper nutrition, struggling with lack of education or trained support to cope with mental, developmental and physical health issues. DH aims to provide ongoing support to DCS, until it achieves sustainable independence, either through adoption by the government of Zambia or other organizations.

Dwankhozi Community School is located approximately 70 kilometers (km) from the town of Chipata, in the Eastern Province of Zambia on the Chipata-Lundazi road. The local community took action and originally built this program in recognition of the importance that every child has a right to education. The Dwankhonzi Community School started operations on March 23, 2003, initially offering classes to children in 1st to 4th grades. As of September 2006, the school had expanded to offering classes from Pre-K to children up to 7th grade and, more recently, added grades 8 and 9. But, in 2003 although classes were being held, the community lacked an actual building to hold classes in. This was their next challenge. The entire community became involved with the labor-intensive process of molding and baking their own bricks of straw and mud in order to construct their school building (click here to see video slideshow of school building process). As one might imagine, the work was intensive and slow-going. In about 2006, a group of US and Canadian friends, soon to become the founding members of DH, were first introduced to the efforts and challenges of the Dwankhozi community through their friend, Charles Masala. Charles is from Zambia, not far from Dwankhozi. While working in Canada and the US as an engineer, he shared with his friends his desire to find some way to walk alongside this remarkable community in need. It was a vision that sparked in the hearts of several of the people Charles shared with and not long after, Dwankhozi Hope was formed and plans and fundraising began to take shape. A Zambian sister organization, Dwankhozi Hope Limited, formed on January 22, 2007. The primary purpose of Dwankhozi Hope Limited is to administer funds of Dwankhozi Hope, liaison with the school and demonstrate that funds for the various projects are used for the intended purpose. Dwankhozi Hope Limited is administrated by two directors, Nchima Nitcho, the Legal Advisor and Local Director, and Bertha Msilekwa, who coordinates Logistics and is the Dwankhozi Basic School Liaison. Nchima is a partner in a law firm in Zambia and a business man. Bertha is a librarian student at the University of Zambia.

Since the founding of Dwankhozi Hope we have completed one of two school buildings, furnished it with desks and delivered teaching supplies (click here to learn more about Dwankhozi School). The second, Pre-K building is not far from completion. We have completed a bore hole of clean water for the community and more sanitary latrines have been constructed for the school as well (click here to learn more about our current projects).

As we continue to move forward we are continuing to supply teachers with text books and other supplies as well as implementing a program offering financial support for teachers to obtain their formal teaching certifications. We are also focused on building teacher housing around the school so that teachers will no longer have to commute long distances (by walking or by bicycle) to the school each day. Discussion is taking place among board members and the community regarding how we may be able to support continuing education for students beyond grade nine. In Zambia, if a child wants to continue school beyond this grade, their families must be able to send them away to boarding school. There are currently no public high schools in Zambia. Perhaps we will have the privilege of pioneering the first!

DH has the following objectives:

  • Walk alongside children of Dwankhozi Community School as they seek opportunities in life through an education.
  • Provide financial support to complete the second, Pre-K school building and any supporting facilities, such as housing for teachers.
  • Provide ongoing financial support to enable DCS to obtain the required educational supplies for the teachers and students.
  • Provide limited financial support to volunteer teachers and support staff to facilitate a deeper commitment and attract better teaching talent.
  • Identify any other organizations and individuals that might be willing to support DCS internationally or locally.
  • Provide an opportunity for individuals or organizations with resources and willingness to support DCS and quality education to economically needy and vulnerable children.

Join DH as we seek to bring compassion, education and resources to an impoverished community. Your gift can help change the life of a child and bring hope to an entire community in need.

Most of us have heard about the AIDs epidemic and the extreme poverty that is affecting millions of people in Africa. Many of us have asked, why? Some of us have asked, how? How can we help or how can we affect change? An answer to this question is one. One child at a time, one community at a time, and one donor at a time.