The Tongabezi Trust School was set up by Vanessa Parker, who was previously teaching as a volunteer in Livingstone. Vanessa is the wife of Ben, who established Tongabezi in 1990 together with the late William Ruck-Keene.
Tujatane has grown from a pre-school class of 15 children, to a primary school with over 240 students. The school has charity status in the UK and is completely funded on donations. Apart from the first classroom, which Tongabezi built, the development of the school has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of donors all over the world. These donations range from individual child sponsorship, teacher sponsorship, help with our food programme, medical programme to building projects.
It takes a community to provide good education and in our Tongabezi/Tujatane community everyone plays a part.
To illustrate how this works please allow us to introduce you to Grace-through her own words:
'My name is Grace and I am a single mum with 3 children. My first born is 22 years old and my second born is 17 and my last born is 12. I started working at Tujatane in 2007 as a cleaner. After 8 months I started working as an assistant in the preschool and reception class for a year. After that I started in the grade 3 class for 2 years and then grade 5. Now I am assisting in Grade 1. I am also performing arts assistant, deputy head of school tour guides and deputy head of the assistant teachers. My first born started school here in 2003. In 2009 he was on scholarship where he went to South Africa and he did very well. He has now completed Grade 12 and he is now in his final year of University studying accounting - he wants to be an accountant. My second born is in Grade 11 and she also went to Tujatane, she is at a boarding school away from Livingstone. My last born is in Grade 6, so he will be doing his exams next year. I am also studying, I have just done my Grade 9 exams so I can do my Grade 10 next year, I am now just waiting for my results.
Thank you so much for what the school is doing for the community and the country at large. It was not going to be possible for us to take our children to school or for me to go back to school without Tujatane, it is a rare opportunity in Zambia to find such a school.'Visit tujatane website Donate