Chiwawatala School

Page Update: 20 Feb 2024

We have been supporting this school for over 19 years. Initially we helped with refurbishing classrooms and then we started to provide termly resources, books, and paying teachers salaries, which we still do.

We also fund the schools vegetable garden paying for the gardener, Jackson, and for his seeds! The children and community all help and they then sell the produce to one of the lodges. Once again they are beginning to become a little more self sufficient – something we are striving for.

We have been supporting Chiwawatala since Sausage Tree’s conception 23 years ago. It has changed hugely in this time and grown enormously, now supporting 1035 pupils from Grade 1 to 9. This growth is due to its success which has subsequently created more challenges. Our aim 20 years ago was to reduce pupil ratios through provision of teachers and more classroom blocks and this was achieved. However its success and popularity has now put ratios back up to about 70 children:1 teacher in some classes. We visited the school Christmas 2022 and had a lengthly chat with Evans Graph (the head teacher for the past few years). We met him in 2018 when he was a class teacher, he was passionate then and is even more so now.

Renovated classroom block in 2015

The school currently has 23 teachers and 4 auxiliary staff which include 2 security guards, gardener and librarian. Sausage Tree pays for 4 teaching staff, the gardener and librarian. The school has four classroom blocks in which two are 1×3 classroom blocks and two are 1×2 classroom blocks giving a total of ten classrooms. There are also 8 houses for teachers.

Since Evans Graph’s headship the performance of the school has improved considerably.

Grade 7 exam results:

  • 2019 – 45.5% and ranked 31st at district level out of 42 schools
  • 2020 – 84.5% and ranked 16th at district level out of 42 schools
  • 2021 – 90% and moved to 9th position

The school teaches on a rotational basis due to its high numbers and lack of classrooms and teachers. So, half the school come in mornings (7am – midday) and the other half afternoons (1pm 5pm). All 1000 pupils get a meal of Sampo each day which is funded by the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund (LCCF). This is basically refined maize meal with oli, sugar and salt added to it. Without this some of the pupils would not be guaranteed a regular meal each day. In 2018 we rebuilt the original kitchen as it had wholes in the roof which made cooking in the rainy season very tricky.

On a yearly basis we pay for 4 teachers salaries, and the salary for the librarian and gardener. We also provide them with books and learning resources. On top of this we carry out specific projects. Listed below.

We have also just recently finished renovating a classroom block which was unusable. Its now up and running and looks great!

The vegetable garden / fruit farm is a key part of the school and is run by Jackson, Sausage Tree pay his salary. It enables the school to have a more sustainable outlook. The vegetables they provide our sold to one of the safari lodges and then the funds are fed back into the school. It also teaches the children valuable life skills.

Our Schools

School Photos

Ceremony for the handover of the Sausage Tree House to the Government.
Planting trees to increase the supply of firewood around the school.

School Kitchen Video

Work that we have helped fund includes:

  • Building a grain store so that the children can now be given meals provided by the World Food Organisation.
  • One double classroom re-roofed, made secure for the rains. New beams, struts and iron sheeting replaced.
  • New pit latrines built.
  • Classrooms whitewashed (needs to be done regularly).
  • New doors put on all classrooms to make them secure.
  • The building and stocking of a fish pond.
  • In September 2006 the government decided that it would send four teachers to the school. However, with no accommodation the teachers would ask to be relocated. Sausage Tree built one house which was then handed over to the government to house one of its teachers.
  • Funding the school’s vegetable garden and tree plantation.
  • Tree planting scheme.
  • Providing stationary, educational resources and books.
  • In 2008 Sausage Tree supplied £3,200 worth of new test books.
  • During 2014 we funded the refurbishment of a teacher’s house.
  • In 2015 we paid for the renovation of a classroom block that was damaged in heavy rain and wind.
  • In November 2018 we rebuilt the school kitchen which was falling down and had big holes in its roof.
  • Buying of a water tank in 2023.
  • Refurbishment of a classroom block.

Future Projects

  • Continue to pay for 4 teachers, 1 librarian, 1 gardener.
  • Provision of books and resources.