A renewed sense of optimism

Welcome to Build It International’s 2021/22 Annual Report

Over the last twelve months, we have worked hard to ensure that our trainees can continue to build brighter futures for themselves and their communities. Despite the challenging backdrop caused by economic uncertainty, political change in Zambia, and ongoing pandemic struggles, we are proud to share the progress we have made.

We invite you to scroll through our digital annual report to see the positive impact that stems from your ongoing support.

A note from our co-founder and Chief Executive Andrew Jowett OBE

2021 Snapshot

training courses completed
trainees enrolled
days of training delivered
handwash stations built
Maternity and Child Health Unit at Libuyu Health Centre completed
Light of Hope Community School officially opened
An estimated 30,000 people supported through our work

How We Work

Skills and knowledge are the foundations upon which we all build our careers, our families and communities, our confidence, and even our identities. Our approach at Build It International:

Training into Work

Our structured programme enables unemployed young people in Zambia to secure valuable building skills qualifications. Our training includes life skills to help trainees develop self-confidence, better decision making, and communication skills. Striving for excellence, our training and certification is endorsed by NOCN.

Employment Support

We support our graduates beyond initial training, connecting them with work and mentoring opportunities. This helps ensure that our training programme is a successful springboard into regular and rewarding work.

Community Builds

Our community building programme helps communities have access to a skilled workforce – resulting in much-improved schools, and clinics, with staff housing and sanitation facilities. Where possible, we deliver training at these projects and we are proud to employ our graduates as contractors.

Our work supports the Sustainable Development Goals:

Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

I had my child in a clinic I built

“What encouraged me to be part of the construction team as a lady, is that I was looking at the benefits of a new clinic to this community. I delivered my firstborn child from this clinic.  

I built a family house using the money I was earning from construction works. I also built another house, and I am using it as a boarding house.”

Exhildah Bwalya, trained with Build It on our Mutaba Health Centre project

Key Achievements

Training into Work

Our Centre for Excellence continues to act as a vibrant hub for our trainees and our team. Despite having to suspend training at the Centre due to Covid-19 regulations, we were able to complete six courses, including a new course in Wall and Floor tiling. We refreshed our distance materials created in 2020 to ensure less disruption to our trainees.

With global supply chain issues affecting construction delivery, it has been more challenging to find work experience in Zambia. Despite this, we were still able to secure valuable work experience for 70% of our trainees. The Centre for Excellence also proved invaluable in helping us overcome these challenges to provide our trainees with practical training.

We have continued to invest in our Centre, with the completion of our office, and student toilets a work in progress.

Cornerstone of the family

“COVID-19 affected me because many projects were put on hold till the pandemic slowed down. But I put in my best in each and every construction work that I get. Although I am the last born, all my older siblings depend on me and I am proud to say that I am able to take care of the family.”

Hamusakwa Lumumba, trained with Build It at Mukuyu Community School

Libuyu Health Centre

In May 2021, we started work on a new Maternal and Child Health unit at Libuyu Health Centre in Livingstone. The clinic serves around 20,000 people.

Completed in April 2022, this unit will “really be a game-changer to our facility”, according to Dr. Manyara Chabona, the medical officer at the clinic. Improving antenatal, postnatal, and family planning services, this unit will also provide health care for infants and children up to five years of age. We are now beginning the second phase of the project redeveloping the existing clinic building.

Learn more about Libuyu Health Centre
Young girl washing their hands at a water point

Safe Hands Initiative

As part of our Safe Hands Initiative, our graduates have built a total of 61 hand wash stations across 35 schools. Initially a vital part of our Covid-19 response, we will now be including group hand wash stations as a standard feature of our community school projects.

With several school closures in the last year affecting young people’s education, this initiative supported schools to reopen sooner and help embed regular hand washing into the school day.

Read more about Safe Hands Initiative

Students graduate from Katombora Reformatory School

The Rise Again Project

In 2021, 96 of our trainees came from Katombora Reformatory School. Giving young people a second chance in life, this project has been run in partnership with NGO Undikumbukire Project Zambia (UP), with financial support from the European Union. 

The graduates’ new skills open up new opportunities to find work and help reduce the risk of re-offending. With our graduates’ work, the Katombora school toilet block was completed in August 2021.

Read more about The Rise Again Project

Children outside Light of Hope Community School

Light of Hope Community School

We were delighted to see the new classrooms of Light of Hope Community School, Livingstone officially opened in June 2021. The project also included construction of a latrine block and a teacher’s house. The school serves 273 pupils, with an indirect positive impact on 3000 people.

To ensure our projects have sustained positive impact, we work with schools up to two years after completion. This includes providing desks and books, as well as strengthening Parent Teacher Committees, and liaising with District Education Boards. 

Read more about Light of Hope Community School

Children holding up their books

‘I am a Reader’

An exciting new collaboration with our friends at the charity The Book Bus, this 12-month project has been developed as part of the BGL Legacy Programme. It aims to significantly improve the literacy levels of pupils in Grades 4 and 5 across six primary schools in Zambia.

In addition, we are working with partners ReScope to provide environmental workshops and support the development of school gardens. It will help reach 1200 children across the six schools.

Read more about I am a Reader

Our Impact: In Numbers

Over the last 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to bring unprecedented disruption to lives across the world. These challenges undoubtedly affected our impact, in comparison with previous years. Our graduates felt the strain, with 60% of our graduates reporting that operations were affected by COVID-19.

Despite this, our 2021 Impact Study gives us cause for cautious optimism that Build It trainees, graduates, and those benefitting from a community building project, have been able to better weather the storm. 

Wages from building projects, combined with improved confidence, and ability to invest in other assets, such as property, farm equipment, and chickens, mean that our graduates have much stronger foundations in place. Overall, our study showed that incomes have increased for our graduates in comparison with pre-training earnings.

Read our 2021 Impact Study summary

Graduate's average monthly income increased from 310 Zambian Kwacha (ZMW) before their training, to 1376 ZMW. That's an average increase of +344% which is hugely encouraging. 

Though less than in previous years, our graduates earnt on average 2.7 times the average income seen in the comparison group.  

57% of our graduates earnt more than $1.90 per day (The World Bank Poverty Line), compared to 25% in the comparison group

Our Impact: Lives Changed

As part of our 2021 Impact Study we gathered a collection of stories. These represent the very real and human impact of the work you support. We are thankful to all the people who took their time to tell their stories, representing the fundamental changes attributable to our work.

Proudly independent

“My life before was hard as I was not working and neither did I go through any formal training. I now work and make my own money. I managed to build myself a house. Such a skill, knowledge and ability have given me a sigh of relief. I also started buying assets and livestock. I can pay school fees for my younger siblings who are still in school. I no longer depend on my parents for anything besides wisdom and guidance.”

Paul Maanza, trained with Build It at Machaya Community School

Paul in the Machaya community
Paul in the Machaya community

Skills to succeed

“After finishing training, I was full of knowledge and energy. In 2020, I started working for myself, and now I have several contracts. I bought land on which I am now building my own house in Lusaka. Me? Yes, at the age of 25! I am so pleased about it. The main thing that pushed me ahead was the support and training I received from Build It. It is the reason I am where I am today.”

Richard Mumba, trained with Build It at the Centre for Excellence

Richard Mumba holding a certificate
Richard receives his certificate at his graduation

Pride and respect

“Because of being trained, my income has increased. I have increased confidence in my skills because I have earned recognition and respect have others. People have been admiring my work ethic. I invite the youths to join me when I have contracts and need assistance. As I continue getting more contracts, I will continue to extend a hand by employing people.”

Emmanuel Silumbwe, trained with Build It at Machaya Community School

Emmanuel Silumbwe receiving his certificate
Emmanuel at his graduation with His Excellency Seamus O'Grady, former Ambassador of Ireland to Zambia and Rueben Lifuka, former Chair of Build It International Zambia Board
"These construction skills are the fine that gives forth branches: the employment opportunities which change our lives.”
Graduate Koliya Siyapeya

Our Finances

Our sincere thanks for the generosity of our many supporters; from individuals and corporate partners, to grant-making foundations and institutional donors including the Oak Foundation, Happold Foundation, Halcrow Foundation, the European Commission and Irish Aid.

Our 2021 income increased by 9%, despite continued COVID-19 disruptions to our calendar of supporter events.

These figures are subject to change pending completion of our annual audit which is currently underway. Full audited statutory accounts will be available on filing at Charities Commission and Companies House.

2021 Income

2021 Operational and Capital Expenditure

A note from Lucie Kasanga, civil engineer and Chair of Build It International Zambia Board

Looking forward

The challenges that have impeded our progress in 2020 and 2021 have begun to ease, and 2022 is filled with renewed optimism to drive forward our ambitious plans. Some key things to look forward to:

276 trainees across 12 courses

Implementation of our Women into Work programme

Further investment in Centre for Excellence to increase trainee capacity

Second phase of work at Libuyu Health Centre redeveloping the existing clinic

Construction of new facilities at Zambezi Sawmills Community School, Livingstone

Thank you

Together, with your collective support, we are making an impact on the lives of young people in Zambia, with the ripple effect reaching far beyond the classroom. Whether a Build It trainee, team member, or vital supporter, may we continue to stand together to rise beyond our struggles and make this world a fairer place.

Stay in touch!