Andrew Jowett, CEO of Build It International, recently visited COINS HQ to deliver a presentation to COINS employees on their work in Zambia. Build It train young Zambian men and women in construction to give them the skills they need to earn a living and provide for their families. COINS Foundation has supported Build It since 2010, beginning with our support to build Kawama Secondary School. Since then, we have supported builds of two further secondary schools, as well as Donata School for the Disabled.

Donata School opened its doors in July 2012, much to the joy of the school’s founder, Donata Kulunga. Donata is passionate about the provision of education to disabled children and visited Stepping Stones School when she was in the UK last year. The visit gave Donata the opportunity to see if any of the teaching techniques that are used at Stepping Stones could easily be adopted in Zambia.

Donata School is the only school for 100 miles that provides specialist education for children with disabilities, including deafness, partial blindness, learning and physical disabilities. The school is making a huge difference to the lives of children who otherwise would not have the chance to access an education.

A recent grant of £25,721 from COINS Foundation funded the project shortfall, and Build It is now able to build a new teacher’s house at the school. The construction of further teachers’ accommodation will trigger the Ministry of Education (MoE) to provide a teacher who is trained in special needs education, ensuring that the pupils at the school have access to the best quality.

In Zambia, families tend to focus their limited resources on their able-bodied children, meaning that disabled children have few opportunities. The further work at Donata School will allow Build It to train six young men and women in construction skills through the Training into Work programme. They will learn the required skills to take their TEVETA trades test. This will afford them work opportunities in the future and allow them to provide for themselves and their families, as well as have a positive impact on their communities.