Our official name is Tongabezi Trust School but when we opened in 1996 the local community and our founder Vanessa Parker gave us another name too, a Zambian name: Tujatane.
Tujatane means ‘let us all hold hands together’ in the local language Chitonga. It captures the spirit of what we want to achieve, what our school strives to do every day in classrooms, on stage, at the sports field and even in the local community when we all go home at night. We all hold hands: teachers, students, volunteers and donors together, and in doing so we share knowledge and skills to work together for a brighter future. The spirit of who we are lies in this name.
But we are first and foremost Tongabezi Trust School, because the hand of Tongabezi Lodge is the very first hand we ever held. When we opened in 1996 it was with the intention of teaching the children of the Tongabezi Lodge staff. It is no exaggeration to say that Tujatane –Tongabezi Trust School – would not exist if it were not for Tongabezi’s hand in ours. Tongabezi Lodge paid for our first classroom, owns the land that we sit on to this day, and the Tongabezi Team is still an integral part of the day to day running of our school. Most importantly, Tongabezi guests come to visit us and often decide to become a part of the Tujatane Family. In fact 95% of our donations, if not more, come from Tongabezi guests from all over the world who saw that even a holiday is an opportunity to change the world.
They are the reason that we can educate even one child.