Sandstone Trust School
Location: Livingstone, Zambia
In March of 2019, Chase Whittaker visited the village in the outskirts of Livingstone. Initially, he only intended to check on the status of the Musale Kings Seeds for Success farm, but as soon as the village saw him, they called a special meeting. Chase and Sepiso were brought into the village's church (seen above on the right) where they were told about the various struggles facing the community and their children. Children as young as 7-years-old were having to walk 3 hours to the nearest school, often unattended and through the dangerous bush. These kids were only getting about 2 hours of instructional time before having to turn around and return home. The villagers begged Chase to help them in some way - even offering to build a school themselves, staff it, clean it, and care for it all on their own if we would just provide the resources and materials.
After months of research, negotiations, and careful planning, we re proud to announce that the villagers' wish is coming true!
About the School
Sandstone Trust School will comprise about 1/3 of the Sandstone Compassion Campus and will feature:
1 Library and Computer Resource Center
All rooms will be wheelchair-accessible and staff will be trained on how to interact with a wide-range of physical and developmental disabilities. Sandstone's mission is to provide quality, accessible, sustainable education for all, and that includes persons of varying abilities.
After school tutoring will be made available for a fee charged by the teachers.
On the weekends, we intend to use the classrooms for career and skills workshops that will aid members of the community with everything from resume building to computer skills to farming and more! We want our school to be a place where the entire community can come to build more fruitful and sustainable lives for themselves, and this is how we do it!
Thanks to numerous partners in the Livingstone area, we already have a significant amount of books and desks. If you'd like to donate other supplies (backpacks, pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.) send us a message here and we'll do our best to make that happen!
Thanks to our partners at Compassion for African Villages, the Every Kid Plays Foundation, the Chief of the Mukuni Village, and various community members both in San Diego and Livingstone, the first stage of the project has been covered!
Constructing the school will be a long process that we expect to carry out in phases.
Phase 1 includes the construction of the first classroom block, the purchase of a storage container to house supplies, and the installation of two bore holes, a solar panel, a water tank, a water tank stand, and two restrooms. The full estimated cost of completing this stage is about $27,545. Check out how it was funded below!
Drilling and Casing for Two Bore Holes: $2,100
$1,500 from the Every Kids Plays Foundation
$600 from Sandstone's General Fund
Water Pump, Solar Panel, and Controller: $2,350
$850 from Compassion for African Villages
$1,500 from Sandstone's General Fund
Water Tank, Tank Stand, and Solar Panel Stand: $815
Sandstone's General Fund
Storage Container: $590
Sandstone's General Fund
Construction of the 5 Classrooms and 2 bathrooms: $21,690
$10,150 from Compassion for African Villages
$11,540 from the Chief of the Mukuni Village
The next several phases of development will involve the construction of an additional 2 classroom blocks with 8 classrooms each. We anticipate the costs for those sections to be approximately $25,000 each (depending on exchange rates).
In keeping with our mission to promote quality, accessible, sustainable education, we have developed a two-tier tuition pricing scheme that accounts for the massive income disparities in Livingstone and that, when properly executed, will provide enough funding for the school to fully sustain itself in perpetuity.
Our tuition model also provides enough room to provide a reasonable cushion for unexpected expenses and will generate enough profit to build the remainder of the school's planned 20 classrooms within a few years. The tuition model will also integrate well into the revenue generation models of the other components of the Sandstone Compassion Campus, ensuring that all three branches of the project support each other.
This isn't to say that we aren't actively seeking donors! Donors have the ability to accelerate the development of the school and the Sandstone Compassion Campus at large - enabling us to serve a greater segment of the population in a more timely manner. If you would like to be a part of funding this project, please contact us here. You may be able to have a classroom or even a whole building named after you!
We intend to exclusively use local labor and resources for the entirety of this project. The number one element in ensuring a successful community enhancement project like this one is building community investment. We believe that, if the villagers are the ones making the bricks, tilling the land, and painting the buildings, they will feel a greater sense of ownership and pride in the school once it's up and running. Of course, we will be bringing in professionals for certain things (like the roofing, bore hole construction, etc.), but we really want this to be something the village can look at and feel a strong sense of accomplishment.
For those jobs that require a professional, we already have community members stepping up to offer their services at a heavily reduced rate. If you or someone you know is interested offering your services to help this project become a reality, please contact us!
Area leaders estimate that there are at least 300 children between the ages of 2 and 14 in the immediately surrounding community that may be served by this school. We anticipate being able to accommodate about 280 of them immediately after the construction of the 5 classrooms.
Each classroom will have a maximum of 35 students and classes will be offered in two sessions: morning and afternoon. Breaking the instructional time in this way enables us to more efficiently use our resources and accommodate a greater number of students from varying age groups, all while minimizing costs for parents.
Once we finally open our last classrooms, we anticipate being able to serve between 1,000 and 1,400 children of all ranges of ability and provide dozens of skills-building clinics/workshops.
Interested in Supporting the School or Sponsoring a Student?
Contact Us Today or Donate Below!