Your support and collaboration are helping to bring positive change to young people in Zambia.
Scroll through our Annual Review for a snapshot of achievements across 2022/23. We are proud to share stories of some of the amazing people who are making a positive difference to their families, their communities and beyond. These are the people who inspire us with their vision, passion and courage.
These are the people who are building brighter futures in Zambia.
build projects completed
Watch the celebrations at Zambezi Sawmills Community School!
Ing’utu is a loving mother and has literally built a brighter future for her son Wamundila and daughter Hope.
They are pupils at Zambezi Sawmills Community School, situated in the heart of a large bustling compound on the outskirts of Livingstone. It is a thriving and well organised school, but it was in desperate need of additional facilities to cope with growing pupil numbers.
Ing’utu is one of the proud graduates who successfully completed our Training into Work programme.
The training aims to equip young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with practical skills that are in demand. With these new skills, come new opportunities to find work. The construction sector in Zambia offers significant opportunities for employment.
Ing’utu learnt alongside 22 other people from her local community, gaining valuable hands-on experience helping us build new facilities at Zambezi Sawmills Community School.
Ing’utu’s challenges growing up echoes those of many young people across the country:
“I grew up in Nwalashi village, Sioma District of Western Province. My grandmother raised me after the passing on of both my parents when I was just 5 years old. I dropped out of school because my grandmother couldn’t afford to pay for my Grade 9 examination fees.
It was very difficult to find work, and conditions were often not favourable.
In 2012 I moved down to Livingstone. There I met and got married to Mr Wamundila. I have continued to work as a maid in Livingstone until I stopped to join Built It’s training course.
I got to know about Build It through my husband, who is currently working as a caretaker and guard at the school… He didn’t object like many men would, but encouraged me to join Build It as he knows that I will be able to help carry the financial responsibility of our family.”
“With my new skills I hope to support my family, and raise some funds to appreciate my grandmother for having raised me up. I’m very pleased that my children will have new facilities at their school.”
Since completing her training, Ing’utu has continued to expand her skills and experience. She has undertaken various piece works with a local contractor working 2 to 3 weeks a month.
“This building has really brought happiness… It has added to our enrolment, we now have 1,020 learners. With these classrooms we managed to open our first grade 8 class; 36 girls and 14 boys, because of this building that you gave us. Thank you!”
My grandmother raised me after the passing on of both my parents when I was just 5 years old. I dropped out of school because my grandmother couldn’t afford to pay for my Grade 9 examination fees.
I found various jobs, including working as a maid, to help my grandmother who was not able to financially support me and other children she was keeping… It was very difficult to find work, and conditions were often not favourable.”
22-year old Elias Chalumbila successfully completed our entry-level Bricklaying course.
Most of our trainees are between 18 and 35 years old. We look to train young people like Elias who had limited opportunity to access education and training growing up, but have a genuine interest and motivation to learn new skills.
Elias trained at our construction training centre, the Centre for Excellence, just north of Lusaka. Construction of the Centre started in 2016. It has grown to become a vibrant and inspiring place of learning.
We continue to expand the facility. Construction of the student toilet block was completed in May 2022. With BuroHappold Engineering we have designed an innovative indoor learning space. When completed, this will increase the number of young people we can train.
“I heard about Built it International when I came to visit my parents in Ten miles area, Lusaka.
What prompted me to visit my parents was the hardship I experienced after losing my job, towards end of 2021. I was working for an auctioning company within Lusaka. But due to financial challenges the company was going through, my friends and I were laid off.
Towards the end of my 12th grade, I had plans of going to college and study civil engineering or architecture. This didn’t materialise due to the financial challenges. I started contemplating going to a Trade school under TEVETA through bursary sponsorship.
In the midst of these thoughts, I met a man who stays next to my parent’s house and works for Zambia National Service. He told me about Build It. So I visited the training centre, got the information I needed, and applied for training. Fortunately I was picked!
Everything is now exciting for me! Training at Build It has opened up my eyes… Having worked for a company as a casual, I know how it hurts to have no skill because one is subjected to all sort of work, even under unfavourable conditions.
With these skills I will be able to find jobs that are sustainable and more stable. I plan to build a house for myself and my parents once I become financially capable. I strongly believe this is a stepping-stone for me to achieve great things in life.”
“I heard about Build It Zambia when I came to visit my parents… So I visited the training centre, got the information I needed, and applied for training. Fortunately, I was picked!… With these skills I will be able to find jobs that are sustainable and more stable… I strongly believe this is a stepping-stone for me to achieve great things in life.”
Quality vocational training is hugely effective in getting people into employment.
But the world of work continues to change, and our training needs to keep pace with the needs of employers.
We have undertaken a substantial review of four of our entry-level training courses with input from contractors, partners and graduates. We have refreshed course content to better meet the needs of employers, increasing the employability of our young graduates.
Strengthening links with employers remains vital to provide work placement and employment opportunities. Their engagement is vital to help trainees successfully transition from learning, to earning.
We all have a role to play in helping young people find work.
Obtaining a job which provides decent and reliable work is an important step for all young people towards independence and self-reliance.
We know that the construction sector in Zambia needs more skilled workers. We continue developing relationships with contractors who support learning and skills development, and can provide a safe working environment for our young trainees and graduates.
“The first group of trainees we received from Build It were six carpenters. These were brilliant and excellent. After being with us for some time, we became confident with their work and started treating them as subcontractors. They got paid for these added responsibilities. After their three months placement we managed to retain three of them.”Zachariah Ng’ambi, CEO, McCoys Building Solutions Ltd
“It was clear the learners really wanted to be there; they really wanted to get something positive out of it… and they felt that they were doing that. The links into industry is very important. It can be very easy to have a training institution which is isolated from industry, and they just don’t deliver what is needed”
Mike Worth, External Quality Assurer NOCN
Watch Evelyn‘s story of joining our training programme!
We are thrilled to see more women joining our training programme.
Evelyn Malunga graduated in 2020, and returned to one of our quarterly Female Mentorship sessions in 2022 to inspire her peers.
We are committed to supporting more young women like Evelyn through our courses. Women often face discrimination and prejudice that limit their choices and chances.
But it’s not just about training more women. We are working to tackle discriminatory policies, structural barriers and cultural prejudices in the workplace, so they can achieve the same success as their male peers.
We are advocating with a range of partners to create wide-scale and lasting change for all young people.
“Over the past one year I have worked for Iridium Construction… Because of my outstanding performance discipline and focus I have been given a position of a supervisor, the only female supervisor at my work place. This shows that even women can lead in the construction industry and break the bias.”
“I joined Build It because I was motivated after seeing women doing construction works and above all I wanted financial freedom… I only managed to go as far as Grade 8 because of financial challenges and I had a child who I needed to care for.”
Watch the transformation at Libuyu Health Centre!
Our graduates were at the forefront of our exciting redevelopment project at Libuyu Health Centre.
The centre is situated in a busy urban compound in Livingstone. Staff were struggling to provide high-quality healthcare to over 20,000 patients in crowded and unsuitable conditions.
The project saw the complete transformation and upgrade of the old clinic building into a spacious, modern and comfortable facility. The internal layout was reconfigured to improve patient flow and privacy, along with the installation of a new roof, electrics, plumbing and sanitation.
This remarkable redevelopment will help improve access and quality of healthcare services for thousands of people living in the Libuyu community.
We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this initiative in future Impact Studies.
“I can proudly state that because of my new skills, I’m now able to rent a house for my family and support them financially.
I want to be an entrepreneur focusing in the same area of construction with a view to employ my fellow youths and empower them with a skill.”
Emmanuel, Benson and Mike are talented graduates and entrepreneurs who now run their own construction company. They won the contract to develop and renovate the clinic. The trio hired other graduates to work on different phases of the project, including Dalitso Zulu.
Dalitso had dreamt of a career in construction. But he could not find an affordable training institute that accepted young people who had not completed secondary education. Then he found Build It.
Dalitso was a star student on our entry-level Tiling course. Dalitso’s hard work and determination proudly earned him our Best Performing trainee award.
“My passion for construction work started when I was in Grade 7. I started doing piecework in construction related work during school holidays.
Everything was going well for me academically until I reached Grade 11 in 2019, when I lost my step father who was paying my school fees.
When my step father passed on, I thought of pursuing a training in construction as I had already acquired informal training in this area from through piece works.
But the challenge at this point was that I could only enrol into a training institution that didn’t require a lot of money, and was able to accept someone who didn’t complete secondary school.
I looked up several trade institutions within Lusaka and fortunately I came across Build It. I visited the training centre and applied to be trained in Tiling, as I wanted a skill that could complement the bricklaying skills that I already acquired from piece works.
I can proudly state that because of my new skills, I’m now able to rent a house for my family and support them financially.
I plan to continue working for myself, and in the near future upgrade my studies. Later on, I want to be an entrepreneur focusing in the same area of construction with a view to employ my fellow youths and empower them with a skill.”
Building maintenance can often be overlooked. But it is vital in helping to preserve the value and functionality of buildings for the future.
We successfully piloted a short Maintenance Course at six schools where we have built new facilities. The training sessions aimed to educate and inspire participants to take care of the buildings. We are pleased with the success of this project, and are exploring opportunities to develop this course further.
Thank you to the generosity of our many supporters in building brighter futures in Zambia; from individuals and corporate partners, to grant-making foundations and institutional donors including the Oak Foundation, Happold Foundation, Halcrow Foundation and Government of Ireland through the Embassy of Ireland in Zambia.
A dramatic increase in the value of the Zambian Kwacha in 2022 impacted our spend budget as costs increased in sterling terms. Currency volatility continues to be a major challenge. Our full audited statutory accounts are available at the Charity Commission for England and Wales .
We are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support in our mission to create brighter futures for young people and their communities in Zambia.
We have done a lot, but there is more still to do. We are excited to continue working together to expand our impact and reach. To give more young people a hand up out of poverty. To help them pursue their dreams and build themselves a brighter future.