With the long-term vision of providing a primary school, study centre and skills training for the community, a generous personal donation from benefactor, Rob Thompson, allowed for the purchase of land in the village. Ground was broken in October 2016, and on 21 March 2017, the new Tukongote Preschool was opened. Tukongote Primary School started in January 2018.
We now support over 500 children in 3 preschools and 2 primary schools, paying the salaries of 45 teachers and support staff.
We are very grateful for the love and support of our benefactors, husband and wife couple, Rob Thompson and Tessa Prior.
Tessa, as co-owner of Waterberry Lodge, has inspired and encouraged us through her wisdom, enthusiasm and positivity right from the beginning in 2009.
Rob watched our progress with interest over the years. Then in 2016 he knew it was time! Time to move from the mud hut, and build “proper” solid classrooms and teachers’ accommodation, to leave a legacy of what, in 20 or 50 years’ time, will be one of the finest schools in Zambia.
And so, thanks to his generous personal donation, land was purchased and a brand new school built, opening in March 2017.
Rob sponsored a young Sophia, who is now our school secretary and librarian, to complete high school and obtain her diploma in Community Development. His own vegetable garden inspired the #robsgardenchallenge, donating towards the set-up of Waterberry Lodge's staff vegetable gardens, and the start of Tukongote's Farming Project. He also sponsors the local village men’s football team, and two children in our Kazungula High Sponsorship program.
Tukongote Community Projects was initially headed up by Directors Michael Voack and Lynette Rink. They birthed the projects in 2009, and continue to lead with passion and vision, empowering and growing our Zambian staff. Michael is also Managing Director of Waterberry Lodge. In January 2022 Charlotte Mpondela was appointed as an additional Director for Tukongote Community Projects.
Chosen by the villagers, the name "Tukongote" describes the open billed storks, reflected in our logo, as they fly off together in formation. Their motto, "Together we educate".