Who We Are
Our mission is to improve the QUALITY, ACCESS, and SUSTAINABILITY of education for vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia through the development and support of innovative community-based projects.
We envision a world where all of the vulnerable children of Livingstone have consistent access to the quality education they deserve.
Who We Help
We proudly support the teachers, students, and scholastic institutions working to better the lives of those living in the impoverished communities of the Livingstone District.
Our History: Why We Do What We Do
In June of 2017, two of our founders, Chase Whittaker and Jesse Archer, traveled to Zambia to volunteer as teachers for a small school in Livingstone. This trip, originally meant to satisfy a graduation requirement for Chase's degree, would change the course of both of their lives forever. During their first venture into the city, two small kids between 3-5 years old, clothes tattered and barefooted, quietly walked up to them, grabbed their hands, and walked with them without ever saying a word. In that moment, they knew that they were in a special place that they would carry with them for years to come.
Within a couple days, they were teaching at a local school called Maher. Each morning began with screams of "Teacha! Teacha!" and more hugs than you could ever imagine. It took all of one day for Chase and Jesse to see those kids as their own. As the days carried on, they began to notice something strange: the school seemed to be running impossibly low on supplies. The teachers shared a single pen for grading, an entire classroom of kindergartners and preschoolers passed around only six broken pencils, and only two erasers could be found. Realizing that something had to be done, after school one day, the two went to a local stationary store and bought an abundance of pencils, crayons, chalk, and erasers. When they arrived with supplies, the head teacher thanked them and told them, "You have no idea what this means for our school. You've saved us."
On their last day of class with the kids and moments before they left, one of the teachers said to the kids, "Ok now, children, how do we say goodbye to our teachers?" All of the children gathered around and said "we sing for them!" Caught by surprise, Chase and Jesse could only stand there and watch their beautiful kids sing a final goodbye to them. Leaving that day felt like their hearts were being ripped out of their chests and as they gave their last hugs goodbye, they both knew, they had to do more.
Within 48 hours of being back home, Chase began researching nonprofit laws, the requirements for forming a business, and planning what became the SanD/Stone we know today. Chase reached out to Dr. Kristen Emory, his Public Health Adviser at San Diego State, and a mutual friend of his and Jesse's, Kyle Krick. Together, the four got through all the paperwork and formalities and SanD/Stone Initiative, Inc. was born.
Chase and Jesse with their kids on career day. So many wanted to be nurses and doctors!
"You have no idea what this means for our school."
The students and teachers surprise us with "As You Go." We found out later that all they had all been practicing after we left each day!