Higher Vocational Education

Tertiary qualifications enable impoverished youths to secure salaried professions which can lift an entire extended family out of poverty. 

So far, ZOA has supported the further education of 86 students, many of whom are now working as teachers, managers and nurses, enabling them to fund siblings’ schooling, build homes and care for grandparents and other relations.

Click right to watch videos of current University of Zambia students, Exillia Kabbadula (veterinary medicine), and Samson Mangena (law) talking about the impact of educational support from ZOA.

Educating bright young people to tertiary level is also vital to Zambia’s development, as there is a serious shortage of teachers, health professionals, and civil servants.

Current Cohort

In 2019 we’re supporting 91 college and University students. Many are training to be teachers, others are studying nursing, trades, business administration, economics and agriculture.

Pictured below right is one of our recent primary teaching graduates, Rilmah Kaomah, during her 2015 teaching placement.

Rilmah dreamt of being a teacher ever since she was a little girl when she used to watch her father, a French teacher, preparing his lessons at the kitchen table.

After he died her mother could no longer afford Rilmah’s school fees, and so she dropped out and spent two years selling fritters on the street to help her mum feed her siblings.

Then she came across KCCC, one of our local, community partners, and through them we were delighted to assist Rilmah to return to school and then go on to College.

A fundraising challenge

The annual increase in numbers of ZOA-supported students receiving college offers is wonderful but creates a big challenge as tertiary costs are at least three times more than secondary school.

Costs range from:

  • £500 for a one year plumbing course
  • £1,500 for one year of 3 year nursing or teaching diploma
  • £3,000 for a year of a Batchelor degree.

Please can you help bright but very poor students gain life-changing tertiary qualifications?


Exillia Kabbudula with the 1st Lady
Exillia Kabbadula is a single orphan of AIDS from Chisamba village. She lost her mother in 2004 when she was just eight year old. Her father, a tailor spports a household of nine, and there is no money to spare. Exillia is very bright and scored the highest marks in Grade 7 (UK year 6) at her state primary. This secured an offer from Chipembi, the top-rated, private girls’ school in Zambia. ZOA-UK administers the Temple Fund, which was used to pay her Chipembi fees and living expenses.

Exillia credits her academic success to her father’s unusual conviction in the importance of education for girls. She says his support helped her avoid ‘the anticipated lifestyle of my area’; namely early marriages, early pregnancies, and most girls dropping out of school very young.

Exillia struggled to fit in with the privileged Chipembi students. Instead she focussed on her studies and in the summer of 2010 she was one of just nine girls selected from across Zambia to receive one-on-one mentoring from then First Lady, Mrs Tandiwe Banda. This was a huge boost to her self-esteem and when she returned to Chipembi after the summer holidays she became a focus of great admiration. In 2013 she won Chipembi’s prize for best grade 12 pupil (GCSE equivalent). She completed her A levels in 2014 and 2015 was her foundation year at UNZA, the top Zambian University. She joined UNZA’s school of Veterinary Medicine in January 2016.