Twitti School

Enrollment figures are in for the first term of 2018 at Twitti Primary School.  There are 443 students, 28 in Baby Class (Pre-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. 


The school campus has 11 classrooms, 3 separate washroom facilities, a drilled well, a library and administration building, and a sports field.

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 School. And that the education being provided yields life-changing successes with a positive impact on their families and the community as a whole.  

Partners of Twitti School

George Street Middle School, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

The Grade 8 classes at GSMS welcomed Friends for Zambia Director Patricia Ellsworth on Monday, January 29.  Patricia  told them the story of Twitti School and thanked them sincerely for their efforts in raising funds for a new play park on the Twitti campus.  

Simonds High School, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

The current group of students in World Issues 120 at Simonds High  School has just completed their Semester 1 exams.  As a class they also worked very hard  to raise funds this semester to sponsor a child at Twitti School.  They were able to raise sufficient funds to make a large contribution to the School Shoes and School Bags Fund as well.  We thank them for their help. 

École internationale du village, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

This school sponsors 4 children at Twitti School.  Teacher Steve Wadlow and his team conduct a campaign each fall term to raise the money to finance the education of these pupils.  The extra money that comes in helps a local charity or contributes to a special project at Twitti.  Steve and his family have visited Twitti School and Steve made a return trip by himself in 2016, delivering a Literacy Program Kit that is making a huge difference in the learning of the youngest Twitti children.

The Twitti School Story

July 13, 2012 Official Opening of Twitti School.


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 two 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, 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

By July 2012 when Twitti School had its Official Opening, the campus consisted of 3 classroom buildings comprising 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. The campus is surrounded by attractive security fencing and is beautifully landscaped.

Since then a netball court has been added, as well as a sheltered stand for bicycles. Stone walkways between buildings reduce the amount of mud that comes into the classrooms in the rainy season. Benches under the trees offer a shady spot for the children during break times.  In 2018 the cholera outbreak has necessitated the  addition of water points for hand washing. 

Current Needs

In 2018 the 31 sponsored children at Twitti School will receive a new pair of school shoes and a new book bag with the help of donors. This money has already been raised by generous donors. 

Also, the school will build a new Play Park to give the youngest children a place for exercise and fun.  There will be more details about this later.

Future projects include further development of the literacy project and  the addition of a school kitchen and dining hall.  

These are the current needs, and the next steps that will be taken in order to optimize Twitti's success. To financially contribute to any of these projects, please go to our How to Help page.