From Humble Beginnings

In December, 2006, Maree came to Livingstone on an exploratory trip and found herself in Ngwenya township, visiting a small informal play group for pre-schoolers that was meeting under a thatched shelter. She spotted an opportunity to help the community by improving educational opportunities for youngsters, many of whom were not attending school due to a combination of economic hardship and a lack of access to educational facilities.

Maree returned to Livingstone in August, 2007 with a group of high school students from KLAS, a Japanese high school based in Switzerland, on the first KLAS Zambia Humanitarian Trip. The students had raised money at their school to donate to the development of the pre-school. Over the next few years, Maree brought students every March, helping with funds, energy, and educational planning to build up the school. In 2008,  Ngwenya town development council allocated a parcel of land to build a more permanent school building. In 2009 construction of the first new building was started, with two classrooms and an office for the teachers. In 2010 the KLAS students painted the new building and donated school supplies, while raising money for further expansion of the school, In 2011, a new cookhouse was built, with a second room that has since been converted into another classroom. The 2012 team raised money to buy an adjacent plot of land to expand the school, which was now offering grade one classes, in addition to two years of pre-school. The 2014 team raised funds for, and helped build, a chicken house to help Olive Tree plug holes in its funding by starting its first income-generating activity (IGA), raising chicks to adult chickens and selling them at a profit. In 2016, an exceptional year of fund-raising by KLAS students saw sufficient money raised to build a new classroom building, with three rooms, two earmarked for future expansion of the school up to grades three and four, and one for other IGA activities.

Ngwenya Community

Ngwenya is a struggling community on the outskirts of Livingstone.  Many of the original community members arrived here from the countryside and set up mud and stick houses,with a hope of a better future, a decent education for their children and improved social mobility and empowerment. 

As this area is on an old rock quarry people were able to scratch out an income from breaking rocks with hand tools and selling them by the wheel barrow full as construction aggregate.  The aim of the OTLC is to provide a sustainable quality educational program that sets young children,from this impoverished community on the right path towards a positive future. Our priority is to remove the barriers of disease, poverty, distance from education centres and poor child health that stand between these children and their right to a quality education. We have come a long way toward overcoming these persistent cross cutting issues by providing the following: a healthy nutritious lunch served daily for the 3 to 6 yr olds, professional development and teacher training, a community of dedicated caring staff, affordable fees (in cases of extreme economic hardship fees are waived, or assisted though our sponsorship program), and placing the OTLC at the very heart of the Ngwenya community so that it is only a few minutes walk from the children’s homes.

Our teachers know almost every family in the area, and can you tell you the life stories of every child; coming from Ngwenya community themselves, our staff members are acutely aware of the life challenges that each individual pupil faces.

Currently the school is funded through an affordable school fee contribution, our income generating activities, and the generosity of our global partners. Our long term strategy is to bring about a self sustaining quality education centre that equals those of our pupils more affluent peers and therefore serve the needs of the community by raising young citizens that are literate intelligent strategic thinkers with the intellectual heritage to engage with equality, in the cultural, political and social affairs of their community and in this way serve to realise the aims of the Zambian Ministry of Education curriculum objectives. OTLC aims to be a central hub of the Ngwenya community.

Community Income

Breaking Rocks