2020: A year like no other

A year that highlighted the vulnerability of children and young people across the world, with disruption to their education and training, missed opportunities and unemployment.

A year epitomised by courage and collaboration to overcome challenges, adapt and innovate. A year where your incredible support ensured we could continue brighter futures for children and young people in Zambia.

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2020 in Numbers

Educational hat
young people trained
1,213 people in total
Building with a flag on the roof
community build projects
51 projects in total
Three people in a row
people benefiting from your support
324,000 people in total

Our work supports the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Skills change lives. 184 young people trained with new skills to work and thrive.

A Centre for Excellence

Our training facility in Lusaka is at the heart of our ambitious plans to support more young people like Prudence.

"My friends laughed saying that bricklaying courses were only done by males!! I trained hard. Now that I am working, I am able to save. I am saving to open up a business that can sustain myself and my family."
Prudence Chisunka (pictured)

  • Delivered six construction training courses at our Centre for Excellence, with smaller class size and social distancing to keep everyone safe. We achieved 66% of our original 2020 target of 280 trainees - a strong result considering the challenges of the year.
  • Developed distance learning materials, producing 30 video lessons so our trainees could study at home during lockdown
  • Invested in the capacity and quality of our training through staff coaching and course content review.
  • Supported our graduates through monthly drop-in sessions, connecting them with employment and mentoring opportunities. Our quarterly sessions for female graduates provided additional support, as we continue challenging gender inequality in the construction sector.
  • Continued developing the Centre with construction of an office, our first ever double-storey building. A new drainage basin has been built to collect excess water during the rainy season, doubling to provide a meeting area and teaching space during the dry season.
Celebrations at the  Katombora graduation ceremony in March 2020A small shelter next to a tree with promotional banner stand beside
Celebrations at the Katombora graduation ceremony in March 2020
"Today I feel like I will be going back home as a changed person, because this training has given me skills which I can use to better my life"
Katombora graduate

Fresh starts and renewed hope: working in partnership to reach vulnerable young people

  • New construction skills for 66 young men trained through the Rise Again Project at Katombora Reformatory School, Livingstone. Skills and support to help them earn a living, reconnect with their communities and turn their lives around.
  • The Rise Again Project is a three-year partnership with UP Zambia, and financial support from the European Union.
  • The success of this collaboration gives us confidence to explore other partnerships to expand our reach, and support more young people out of poverty.

Skilled workers build better. Zambia needs thousands of new classrooms, health and sanitation facilities.

Our community build projects bring essential services to some of Zambia’s most disadvantaged communities.

New brick-built classroom

Brighter futures at Light of Hope

Over 4,300 children will benefit from the new facilities at Light of Hope Community School on the edge of Livingstone. New classrooms and a teacher’s house will help raise the standard of education they receive. Latrines and hand wash facilities will help improve their health and wellbeing.

The build has been led by graduates Emmanuel, Benson and Mike, under the direction of our Site Agent. It has been inspiring to see them employ fellow graduates to help them deliver this project.

Handwash station

Clean hands are Safe Hands

We wanted to play our part in responding to the pandemic. Through our Safe Hands initiative, a team of graduates has been building much-needed hand wash facilities in schools. These new facilities have space for 18 children to wash their hands all at the same time.

In addition, vital supplies including face masks and soap were distributed and COVID-19 health awareness workshops delivered. Schools have been incredibly appreciative of the support during these difficult times, with over 27,000 children to benefit in all.

Katombora toilet and shower block

Improving sanitation at Katombora

The design and construction of a bespoke toilet and shower block at Katombora Reformatory School will make a significant contribution to improving health and hygiene at the school.

Current facilities are woefully inadequate, with water often rationed and power very unreliable. The new block will be run entirely independently to the rest of the school, fed by water pumped from the nearby river and powered by its own solar panels.

Transforming lives. New skills means new opportunities.

Low skills perpetuate poverty and inequality. Education and training can break that cycle and transform lives.

Our latest Impact Study shows that six months after their training, 78% of our graduates are working in construction. They are earning over 2.5 times that of their peers, and significantly more than before their training.

It shows that our school build projects have helped enhance teaching and learning outcomes. Many of the schools have experienced growth in enrolment and increased staffing capacity.

Results from the study will help guide our approach. It gives us confidence and determination in continuing our mission.

"The skills imparted in me will always forever be in my DNA; it is something that no one can ever get away from me"
Timothy Simpokolowe, 2017 graduate
Timothy Simpokolowe receiving his certificate
" I decided to study rough carpentry - one of the fast income generating skills today. But going to school mean that I didn't have time to do other things to provide for my family. Despite the challenges I told myself not to quit. Now I can feed my family. We are living in a house with electricity, paying house rentals is no longer a burden - I am even able to pay in advance. My children are attending school without difficulties.

Build It provided us with tools which I am using today. Tools are so important in construction - without tools you cannot work, but many people are unable to acquire them due to poverty."
Christopher Chewe, 2019 graduate
2020 Impact Study

Herriot and her family
Twenty-seven year old Harriet is married with three children. The earnings through her construction work has enabled Harriet to buy a farm and residential plot for her mother. Harriet is able to pay school fees for her children, as well supplementing daily meals at home.

Looking ahead

The pandemic continues to bring challenges, but in 2021 we look to:

  • Train 280 young people
  • Deliver two new courses, including one paid-for course
  • Complete our gender strategy to train more women, breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes to support them into successful employment
  • Progress our advocacy activities to encourage others to invest in supporting young people
  • Expand facilities at the Centre for Excellence with a further learning plaza and toilet block
  • Start work on a much needed new maternity ward at Libuyu Health Clinic to improve facilities for mums and their babies

Thank you for your support. Together we are building brighter futures in Zambia.

Our Finances

Our sincere thanks for the generosity of our many supporters; from individuals and corporate partners, to grant-making foundations and institutional donors including the Oak Foundation, Halcrow Foundation, the European Commission and Irish Aid.

Our 2020 income was down 18% on 2019, but a strong result given the challenging context. Income was down due to several factors including cancellation of planned supporter events, fewer opportunities to secure support from new grant makers and delays in programme activities. These figures summarise our latest published information, taken from our full audited annual accounts:

2020 Accounts and Trustees’ Annual Report

Income 2020

Expenditure 2020