Term 1 Jan - Apr 2004
Volume 8.1
Tongabezi Trust School, Private Bag 31, Livingstone, Zambia
E-Mail: vanessa@tongabezi.com                 www.tongabezitrustschool.com

Tujatane Tales


We have to start from the beginning. It all started in 1996, when Tongabezi Trust School was officially opened. Parents enthusiastically registered their children of preschool age and a class of 15 children emerged. These children were the first to go through from preschool to grade seven at our school. Following the Zambian education system the whole way, after seven and a half years they were ready to sit their National exams to take them to secondary level. We all knew that this time would come, but it always seemed so far away. Finally the time arrived, and our children were our first test to see how our little school faired at National level. It was very exciting for us all (and a little daunting too!). Mr Gwenani, our grade seven teacher took the challenge full on, and he and his class studied hard together. They went through past papers, had revision classes followed by revision classes, until the children felt confident and emotionally ready for their big exams. They sat the exams, and came out smiling. Mr Gwenani, they told us was ‘THE BEST TEACHER’ - just what we wanted to hear! Then it was time to wait for the results. It was announced on the radio that the results were out, and the number of children selected to go on to grade eight were mentioned. We were excited and thrilled to learn that our children did extremely well. It was a proud day and a day of big celebrations in the village. All 20 of our children had succeeded in gaining a grade eight place, and more than we had dreamed of had successfully got into the top secondary schools (boys and girls) in the district. (In contrast, in the local government school nearby not one of the children had made it through to a secondary school from grade seven.)

Georgina Mcvittie donates her time
Georgina Mcvittie, came as a volunteer to help at our school from Jan - June. She worked in Scotland before coming, in order to cover all her expenses herself. She said that she would value the experience of working at the school, and would happily donate her time. We would all like to thank her very sincerely for her contribution to our school.

She spent many hours with the children coaching them in mathematics and English. She began a recorder club, worked hard with Bond on getting our computers up and running, wrote backgrounds on our children ready for sponsorship, costed our feeding program, and much more. She was a positive, happy and fun person to have at the school and the children and staff will miss her greatly. We will look forward to her visiting us after her University course.

A piece written by Georgina after her first few weeks here.
My name is Georgina Mcvittie, I am an 18 year old student from Scotland. I am volunteering at Tujatane for 6 months on my year off assisting with maths and music classes. I only finished school myself in June
last year and since then I have been working in Edinburgh for 6 months to fund my trip. I arrived at Tujatane on 26th January to a very warm welcome of traditional singing and dancing. I was very touched that they had gone to so much effort for me. Everyone was very friendly and immediately made me feel at home. Initially it was a little daunting being the new girl again and having first day nerves. This was soon put to rest after I had my first class which was a recorder lesson with some Grade 6 children. The lesson was a lot of fun, it was good to get to know some of the children a bit better and they were so well behaved! I have now been here for a few weeks and I’m really enjoying working at the school and learning more about the Zambian way of life.

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(by Mable Pelekelo)
Tujatane, Tongabezi Trust School is a small school and with few teachers. The enrolment pattern is done every two years due to lack of classrooms and lack of funds. However, this year due to pressure from parents wanting their children to attend school it was thought wise to open both a reception class and a preschool class for the year 2004 instead of waiting until 2005. This made and brought joy and happiness to the surrounding compound and village who have the majority of their children at Tujatane. Children have started in these classes and so far so good. The new pupils are really enjoying school because they have new things to play with here which they do not have at home eg toys, puzzles, playing on swings, etc. Some of them say they also love school because when coming to school their parents give them some food for breaktime. It is really good to have fun with the children.

AND BIGGER!! (by Lee Mudenda)

It all went like wild fire when news spread out through the villages and Tongabezi Staff workers that Tujatane will enrol a new Grade 1 class for 2004.  Tujatane should only be taking a new grade one every two years - next in 2005.

But due to the persuasive demand from parents, the school decided to try to fund for a new reception teacher to free the grade one teacher (who would normally take reception this year) to take our new grade one class.  Our new children are so happy to be in grade one, and have been made to feel at home and they feel welcome in their new grade.  Thank you to the Martindales for their generous donation in sponsoring our new reception/preschool teacher, Iness Chulu.

Tujatane pupils have finally started using our newcomputers donated by Lingfield school in the UK.  After the installation of educational software, pupils now have the chance of learning on computers once again. Thanks to our donors for their generosity.

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Dear Donors, sponsors and friends of Tujatane School,
I have been helping at Tujatane for 2 months. I am involved on the administrative side and with the academic program.

My husband and I farm a couple of kilometres downstream from the school. Barring a few years teaching in the UK, I have spent my 50 years in Africa (teaching in Africa too).

The staff and I are ambitious for the children of the school. They are ideally placed to become good future leaders of this country. They are rooted in the cultural life of their rural homes and are also exposed to computers and books at the school. High standards are set in many areas. The children are required to wear clean uniforms, no matter how raggedy they are. Many of them draw water from the communal well and wash their own, so that they can feel proud of them. Body hygiene is required and showers are available. The grounds and the buildings are kept neat and clean.  The children must share the responsibility for the upkeep of the school and create a pride in it. The prefect system is working well with the senior pupils reinforcing the above standards and also encouraging all the children to take part in the extra mural life of the school. We have introduced a competitive element in their work where the neatest books and the best work (for the individual child) is rewarded at assembly once a week.

They are amazingly tenacious children. Most come from homes where poverty and Aids are daily burdens, but we will not be overwhelmed by this. They get to know that learning is their way out of this cycle.

We are determined that we will not be just another ‘aid project’ in Africa that often has dubious lasting value.  Education can never be taken away from these children. It will be theirs forever and will launch them to greater things.

You are privileged to be a part of this process. In this corner of Africa you are helping to be a part of their renaissance. The children will not disappoint you.

We thank you for your support and encouragement.
Sue Orr

Our latest loo block has taken on a new look. The
children put a new face on it - filled with trees,
animals and hills. Mary, an artist and friend from America, who had helped organise the painting of our older loo block arrived for another visit and was put straight to work! She chose her team of children and spent a weekend of fun with them directing their painting of bright pictures, which has made a beautiful mural on our loo block for all to see at school. The children were all happy to spend their weekend at school, and Mary enjoyed being with
them. She also spent time with children having painting lessons in the classroom, and we are hoping to come up with cards from their pictures, and to print them and sell them for funding more art supplies.





No of children

Classroom One
Classroom Two            
Classroom Three          
Classroom Four
Classroom Five

6 (age 11-14)
4 (age 8-10)
2 (age 6-8)
Preschool & Reception

Mr Prester Gwenani
iss Violet Chibawe
Mr Bond Lichaha    
Lee Mudenda
Mable & Iness


School Afternoon Activities

Drama, Art, Sport, Remedial, Chess

If you would be happy to receive our newsletter by email it would help us tremendously.
Please email me at: vanessa@tongabezi.com

We are constantly striving to better our school, so if you have any ideas, comments, useful contacts, or would like any further information, please email or write to us.

Charity Status: "The Charitable Trust for the Tongabezi Trust School" - Registration Number 1096710

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The Tongabezi Trust School
Private Bag 31, Livingstone, Zambia
email: vanessa@tongabezi.com