When Lydia and Simon Maonde,Zambian teachers, retired from their long careers in education, they took up a new life as farmers in the Lilayi community near Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The need for a school for the children of the farm workers was apparent and so, in 1994, Mrs. Maonde began to teach 5 pre-schoolers in the Maonde home. Word spread in the community of how well these children were being taught, and parents soon brought others to learn. Since the 3 Maonde sons and 1 daughter had grown and moved away, their small bedrooms became the school classrooms.
By 2005 there were about 200 children coming, in morning and afternoon shifts, to be pupils at this new Twitti School. The name Twitti was chosen since the word ‘twitti’ means the smallest twig, a symbol for these tiny children who were becoming part of the powerful tree of education. When this ‘school in the house’ was reaching its physical limits, an amazing re-connection occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Maonde, by means of the Internet, began to correspond with three Canadians who had worked with them at Namwala Secondary School in Southern Province more than thirty-five years earlier. Mr. Maonde requested their help in financing the construction of a ‘real’ school.
Former CUSO volunteer teachers, Patrick and Shelley O' Callaghan in British Columbia, and Patricia (Brown) Ellsworth in New Brunswick, committed to their former Headmaster and his wife to help them build a school, an enduring legacy for the Lilayi community. In 2006, Friends for Zambia Society was established and fund raising began. In 2009, the first 4 classrooms were constructed and each year more facilities were added until 2012 when Twitti Primary School was completed.
A Canadian - Zambian Partnership Learn more about it on the Twitti School Page. (See Menu)
The beautiful Play Park built for the younger children five years ago fell victim to termites this year. It was very sad to see the damage and know that it was no longer safe. The only solution was to shut off the area and keep everyone out.
When Shelley O'Callaghan, FFZ Director, came for a visit from Canada in June she brought with her money from many Canadian donors to fund necessary upgrades at the school.
Shelley saw the Play Park as a good way to use a portion of that money. Arthur Maonde, School Maintenance Supervisor, engaged a contractor. Materials were ordered for the repairs, and work began the following week.
Good news came this week: Project Manager Thomas Mulendema handed over the refurbished Play Park to the school. The metal poles that have replaced the wooden structures will keep the termites from further destruction.
3775 Edgemont Boulevard, North Vancouver, BC V7R 2P6, CA
(604) 904-8555 Find out how to DONATE on the How to Help Page (See Menu)
Soon after an initial connection was made between Twitti School and Chilanga Cement (formerly Lafarge) in 2007 by Friends For Zambia, the company made a commitment to provide all the cement required to construct the new Twitti School buildings. The first delivery was made in April 2008, and deliveries continued until the school was completed.
A strong community statement from Chilanga Cement (formerly Lafarge): "When our communities start to prosper because of our involvement and the Lafarge name becomes synonymous with constant unwavering commitment, then we are on our way to one of our greatest growth objectives: Building a better Zambia.,