Our impact

ZOA is a small charity with BIG ambitions for the young people we work with. We work intelligently, adapting our approach as necessary using the personal relationships our local, grassroots partners have with the orphans and vulnerable children we support, balanced with evidence-based decisions derived from our impact evaluation using the Child Status Index.

We have systems in place so that the people we work with can let us know what their experiences are so we can adapt our work accordingly. This keeps their needs central to our work.

We have doubled our income in the past three years to £332,826 and increased our profile and support with the public, development sector and Government. But more importantly we have seen an increasing number of children we started supporting ten years ago now qualifying for tertiary education.

In 2020 we are supporting 99 students at college and university. A further 106 of our students have either recently graduated or secured jobs as teachers, nurses or civil servants and are supporting extended family and funding their siblings education. We are proud to be a part of these inspiring students’ journey to break the cycle of poverty.


The way we work means we can keep our support costs low allowing more of your donations to be spent in Zambia on the orphans and vulnerable children who need our support the most.

Our supporters are what make it possible to give a helping hand to the children we work with. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

Our annual Trustees’ Report and Financial Statements show how, with your support, ZOA is helping orphans and other vulnerable children to change their future through education.

Our annual report includes our audited accounts, explaining where our income comes from and how we’ve spent it.

Download our latest Trustees’ Report and Financial Statement.


We engage with communities to achieve long-term change, empowering orphans, vulnerable children and youths through education to contribute to Zambia’s development.

Although we have sent £2 million in grants to Zambia since 2006, we ultimately want to take ourselves out of the equation. We don’t want to create donor-dependency, which is why we partner with grassroots, community-based organisations who are our valuable partners.

A photo of chicks to illustrate the income generating poultry project run by CEHOZWe work with our local partners to develop their capacity and, when appropriate, encourage them to develop other income streams to help them move towards financial sustainability.

For example the community group behind Chibolya Community School (CEHOZ) set up a maize and poultry business in the school’s grounds. They now grow enough maize to provide mealie meal (porridge) for all the school meals.

How we work

  • ZOA-UK employs rigorous governance and accountability structures to ensure donations are used effectively.
  • We work in partnership with our sister charity, ZOA-Zambia, who are based in Lusaka. They lead on strategic programme development and management, monitoring and evaluating. We support them to fulfil programme objectives and work with them to build capacity where needed such as regional resource mobilisation, technical support, impact assessment and research.
  • Since 2018 we’ve been evaluating our impact using the Child Status Index so we can make evidence-based decisions on the allocation of our limited resources.
  • We are governed by a Board of Trustees, including British Zambians, and led by a small team of part-time, home-based staff, a structure that keeps our over-heads low allowing more donations to be spent in Zambia. Zambians are involved in decision making across the organisation.
  • All our grassroots partners are registered NGOs and have their own bank accounts and the ability to provide documentation proving funds have been spent appropriately.

Meet our founder

A portrait of Dr Shimwaayi Muntemba, ZOA founder and vice-chair of ZOA-UK trustees, to accompany her biography

ZOA was founded by Dr Shimwaayi Muntemba, an inspiring Zambian lady, as a response to the AIDS crisis that decimated the country.

Read our latest Annual Report

Find out more about what we achieved in our latest financial report.

Get involved

An image showing a pupil at Hope and Faith School with their hand up in class to illustrate our work

There are so many different ways to get involved in our work. Check out the options and see what you can do to help orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.

Meet our partners

A photo of the team at Nevers Care and Support Group

Meet our grassroots, community partners in Zambia and find out more about the amazing work they do.

Meet the team in Zambia

A photo of Grace Kancheya Nkhuwa, CEO ZOA-Z and Patricia Mbao to illustrate the ZOA-Zambia page

Meet our small team in Zambia who lead on ZOA’s strategic programme development and management, monitoring and evaluation.

Meet the team in the UK

A photo of the ZOA-UK team for the ZOA-UK team page header

Meet our small team of part-time workers based in the UK and our board of trustees.

Supporting children to go to school

Juliet, 12 years old

“I live with my brother and sister. Only my mum is around because we lost our dad when I was eight. My mum buys food for us after doing some piece work like washing clothes for people. My biggest challenge is seeing my mum facing hardships alone to make sure she can buy food for us.

School is a kilometre away and I walk to school. School helps me to learn things that I didn’t know and how to take care of myself. I used to have [hunger] stomach pains which affected my academic performance, but I don’t face challenges at school now because I receive a school meal and my uniform and my fees are being paid. Having received help has helped me to start school, receive uniforms that mum couldn’t afford and I’m able to have the correct meals at school. It can make someone like myself have a better life.”

Making sure education is inclusive

Gabriel, 25 years old

“I remember my painful childhood years when everyone saw me as a burden. I didn’t have friends to play with but my grandmother showed me love. 

Life was a real challenge for us and I believe that’s why my brothers stopped school and my sisters got married early. I was serious about school because I saw it as my only hope out of misery.

When I completed school I applied for a three year Primary Teacher Diploma Course and was put on ZOA support. I want to become a teacher and help my family and my fellow people with disabilities.”

Keeping girls in school

Diana, 18 years old

“I was 12 when I started my periods. I was afraid and I didn’t know what to do. I thought there was something wrong with me and I stopped going to school. I used to miss class until my period was finished because I didn’t have pads.

The menstrual hygiene training taught me about periods, good hygiene practices, how to use reusable pads and that I can still go to school.

The difference is that now my attendance in class has improved.”

Help Change a Child's Future

Your help can support children through primary and
secondary school, provide nutritious school meals so pupils
aren’t learning on an empty stomach and support those that can
through tertiary vocational training. We provide a holistic
approach so also provide mental health support and other inputs
where needed.

Thank you! Your support makes a big difference.

Donate Now