Twitti School

Enrollment figures are not available yet for the second term of 2019 at Twitti Primary School.  While we wait for those new figures here is a reminder of  how many were enrolled in 2018.  There were 443 students, 28 in Baby Class (Junior Kindergarten), 37 in Pre-Grade (Kindergarten), 46 in Grade 1, 39 in Grade 2 - Orange, 46 in Grade 2 -  Red, 43 in Grade 3, 44 in Grade 4 - Yellow, 40 in Grade 4 - Green, 39 in Grade 5, 46 in Grade 6 and 35 in Grade 7.  Of these students, 31 are sponsored by donors who pay their school fees. 


The school campus has 11 classrooms, 3 ablution blocks (separate washroom facilities), a drilled well, a library and administration building, a basketball and a netball court as well as a sports field. New for 2019 is a Play Park for Baby class to Grade 2.

Lilayi Education Trust: Vision and Mission

The vision of the Lilayi Education Trust is to be the leading provider of quality primary education in the Lilayi – Chilanga area. The Board of Trustees and the Founders of the school are committed to the realization of this vision. They intend to achieve this vision through their mission of providing community-based quality education at an affordable price. Going forward, the Lilayi Education Trust remains steadfast in its efforts to find ways and means of assisting vulnerable children and the struggling parents desiring to educate them.  The Board envisages that, when provided with the best education possible in primary school, each student coming through our doors will be given the opportunity to excel beyond Twitti Primary School. And that the education being provided yields life-changing successes with a positive impact on their families and the community as a whole.  

School Partners of TPS

George Street Middle School, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada


On Thursday, February 7, 2019, the Grade 8 classes at GSMS welcomed Friends for Zambia Director Patricia Ellsworth who explained the partnership between George and Twitti.  She passed on a sincere ZIKOMO to George Street and Teacher Lise Martin-Keilty for the new Play Park, built with funds raised in the Marketplace Project.  The goal this year for Marketplace is to help Twitti buy a variety of materials that will encourage the youngest pupils to explore, create and learn in their classrooms and in the Play Park.

Simonds High School, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada


Teacher Brenda Phillips and her World Issues 120 classes have passed the responsibility of raising funds to sponsor a TPS student to an enthusiastic teacher, Sara Linero, her classes and all the students at Simonds.  A Grade 9 class conducted their first campaign before Christmas and Patricia visited the school to accept the cheque.  

Brenda Phillips visited Zambia in May, eager to experience Zambian culture and the beauty of the country.  After a week of travel she moved on to TPS and took an active part in the life of the school for two busy weeks.

École internationale du village, Gatineau, Québec, Canada


This school sponsors 4 children at TPS.  Teacher Steve Wadlow and his team conduct campaigns to raise funds to finance the education of these pupils.  The extra money that came  in this year will be used to purchase a second Literacy Program Kit for TPS.  A special thanks to student Rafaël who contributed more than K2000 of his own money this year, and even  more last year.  The Kit will arrive in Lilayi in July, 2019. Steve delivered  the first series of Leveled Readers to TPS in 2016.  It has made a huge difference in the learning of many Twitti children.  The new Kit will continue that progress.


Partner school raises funds for TPS Play Park

A Look Back at Marketplace 2018

10 Grade 8 classes at George Street Middle School, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, learned what it is like to start your own business.  AND they raised funds to build a new Play Park for Twitti School.

The students formed companies (such as Thumb Marks in the photo above),  explored ideas for items to sell (like bookmarks and bath salts), developed a business plan, collected materials, produced their inventory, prepared advertising and then opened their doors to the public! The products were amazing and the prices were good.

Go to Gallery 2018 on this site to see more photos of the Marketplace, the students and what they were selling. 

The Twitti School Story



When Lydia and Simon Maonde 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 Maonde sons and daughter had grown and moved away, their 3 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 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 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 School was completed. (See photo above.)

School Campus


 When Twitti School was  Officially Opened in July 2012, there were on the campus 3 classroom buildings containing  11 classrooms, 3 washroom buildings, a water well and storage tank, a sports field, a basketball court, a playground for the little ones, and an administration building containing offices, a staff room and a library. 

Since then the campus was surrounded by attractive security fencing and was beautifully landscaped.  A netball court was added, as well as a sheltered stand for bicycles. Stone walkways constructed between buildings reduce the amount of mud that comes into the classrooms in the rainy season. There are benches near the playing field for the children during break times.  In 2018 the cholera outbreak necessitated the  addition of water points for hand washing.   A new Play Park was built to replace the old metal playground equipment that was rusting and dangerous.  With  cement donated by Lafarge Cement Zambia and a financial contribution from Friends For Zambia, a new security wall was completed at the rear of the school property.  This wall provides a secure environment for the children and protects the property, including the new Play Park from vandalism. A wall formerly on site  was demolished in 2016 as a result of  a property dispute.  

Current Needs


School Shoes and Bags Appeal 2019: there is a plan to provide the 31 sponsored children at Twitti School with a new pair of school shoes and a new book bag again this year.  Some of the money required ($50 per child) has already been raised by generous donors.  Could you help with a donation to Friends For Zambia to finish the project? Any amount would help!  

Future projects

  • Fund raising goal achieved!! July 2019  There is an urgent need for a new school bus.The first bus is no longer mechanically sound and needs to be retired.  The second bus is good but not big enough for all. 
  • further development of the literacy project.
  •  the addition of a school kitchen/lunch hall.  

These are the current needs, and the next steps that will be taken in order to optimize Twitti's success. 

Want to help? To see how to financially contribute to these projects,  go to the  How to Help Page.