Report on Zambian students receiving grant assistance at tertiary level provided by Business Council for Africa under the education grant scheme of the Zambia Society Trust in 2019.

The following students have received grant assistance with the £2,500 donated by the Business Council for Africa.

Miss Natasha Chisense, 25, studying for a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Cavendish University in Lusaka, has successfully completed the first two years of her four-year course.

Natasha writes: ‘I took up this course because I feel very passionate about business. I see business opportunities everywhere around me. Hence, I believe that with business administration I will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of business operations and acquire the skills needed such as marketing, understanding customer needs and wants, finance, strategies used in business etc. I completed my secondary school in 2012. I have not been able to achieve my aspirations (studies) due to financial constraints in my family. I am the last born in a family of eight. In as much as my parents managed to educate my older siblings with struggles here and there; my situation has been worse. My father was a retired teacher who was bedridden for a long time. My father retired in 2004 when I was just in grade four. And my mother is a retired nurse, she too retired in 2007 when I was in grade seven. Life has therefore, not been easy. My siblings have their own families now hence not much help comes from them. Each one has their own burdens to deal with. Being the last born, I want to complete my studies and get a job so that I can give full support to my parents. And I also intend to help contribute and make donations to organizations like Zambia Society Trust who help eradicate poverty and put smiles on people in the future. From childhood my dream has always been to have an orphanage and a home for the homeless old people because it always pains me to see them so helpless and hopeless.’

Mr Aaron Machaliwa, 22, studying a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics at the University of Zambia in Lusaka, has completed two years of the four year course.

He is the eldest child in a family of 5. He has received a partial loan through the Zambia government Higher Education and loans Scholarship Board but his family are unable to make up the shortfall so the grant received from BCA funding will enable him to continue his course.

Aaron writes: ‘Upon completion of my degree I intend to start work so as to help out with my sibling’s education. Having worked for a minimum of one or two years I intend to go back to school and pursue a suitable master’s degree in Agriculture economics and an MBA in finance. My areas of interest lie in agriculture farming in areas such as poultry and maize farming, banking and financial markets and real estate development, upon acquisition of necessary skills, knowledge and capital I intend to go into entrepreneurship in the above areas.

Having worked I intend to go into full time entrepreneurship in the areas mentioned above and hopefully open and manage my own consulting firm. The BA in Economics has an agriculture economics course which I intend to take next year at fourth year, this will enable me to acquire knowledge on agriculture markets. The Zambian agriculture industry lacks stable and sustainable manufacturing and processing plants, I also intend to open a processing plant for the processing of maize meal, groundnuts into various goods such as peanuts and cooking oil and the production of chicken feed for poultry farming.

I am the first born with two siblings Edna Machaliwa aged twenty one and Darius Machaliwa aged nineteen. My father currently works for the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and has done so for the past 28 years, even though without any tertiary education, he was born and raised on the Copperbelt where he did his primary and secondary education up to Grade eleven, due to financial challenges he had to drop out and start working. My mother went as far as primary education and she is currently staying on the Copperbelt.

My parents got divorced early on in our lives as children and both later remarried, and I have got other half brothers and sisters. My family and I live in Lusaka’s Makeni area, as children we had to stay with our father after the divorce was finalized due to the reason of him having a stable income to provide us with the basic needs as compared to my mother. We spent our holidays with her. As a family we have had to face challenging situations from been chased away from school for not paying school fees, been asked to vacate houses for not been able to pay rent on time and at times having one or two meals per day.’

The Bachelor of Arts degree in economics is a social science which looks at the efficient allocation of scarce resources amongst competing users. It’s a four year programme offered by the University Of Zambia under the school of Humanities and Social sciences. The programme offers both a theoretical and practical component. The BA programme offered by the University of Zambia requires one to pick an elective course which is called a minor, and my minor is business Administration.

Miss Margaret Konkola, 22, studying for a Diploma in Food Production at Zambia Institute for Tourism & Hospitality in Lusaka. Since successfully completing her Secondary Education she has been unable to pursue her studies because of her financial circumstances. She comes from a large family and has responsibility for her widowed mother so this grant will give her the opportunity to start a career.

Margaret writes: ‘I was born in 1996 to darius konkola and ruth n’gona respectively as father and mother. My elder brother being Francis Konkola. Jacob Banda is the youngest of the three being the last born in the family.

My grandmother Mrs. Hildah N’gona has been very hard working to help me throughout my life. Of course it takes the whole village to raise a child; Moffat and Jack N’gona are very special being my uncles and brothers to my mother. I grew up not knowing the relatives to my father, therefore I count on them for guidance and counseling. Hildah N’gona runs a big family full of grandchildren. We share a good relationship of cousinship in one single home. There are various opportunities in the hospitality industry which gives hope for the future. As a result of the training which I am acquiring, I desire to venture into entrepreneurship in hospitality business by way of owning a lodge.

It would be unfair and injust to others who are lacking employment if I do not pursue entrepreneurship and become employment provider. However, to reach the level of an employer, one must pass through the levels of employment. Immediately after my course, I intend to serve under the already existing establishments and gain some experience. This would be enough starting point of me helping myself and my family.

Other ambition for the future is to have my own family and be there for my husband and children. The economy nowadays demands special skills for one to be counted, therefore, my skills in food production and management are well set for me and my family to be counted. Many thanks again goes to the Zambia Society Trust for their support in my education career.

It is enjoyable and something which gives hope in life to be accorded an opportunity to pursue the desired career in life. The Zambia Society Trust are there giving a helping hand to people who had no hope or chance to excel in ones desired area of study.

My education circumstances started from the time I was one year old. This was the time when I lost my biological father. Being the only girl in the family of three is the very challenging since I was given out to be kept by family relatives. My mother took a position to concentrate on educating my two brothers and the responsibility of my education was given to my relatives.

My secondary education was the responsibility of my grandmother. She is my mother’s mother and runs a big family. She is surrounded my many grand children as my uncles (brothers to my mother) are not financially sound enough to support their own families. The small support I would receive from her has seen me through my secondary education.

I now am positive about the future.’

Miss Elizabeth Phiri, 25, studying for a BSc Education Maths & Physics at DMI-St Eugene University Chipata Campus. She is one of 8 siblings with elderly parents and has no means of financial support for her studies.

Elizabeth writes: ‘I am Elizabeth Phiri studying at DMI-St Eugene University Chipata Campus in the field of BSc Education with Maths and Physics. I chose to do this course because I enjoy mathematics starting from my basic level of education and to improve knowledge in pupils so I can help them understand and solve mathematical problems.

Not only that but also to stand as a role model since 75% of girls in schools find a lot of challenges to understand and solve mathematical problems. I therefore chose to do mathematics in order to motivate girls. Also, so many aspects of life are based on mathematics, for example business people need to understand their capital and calculating their profit and loss.

I am 25 years old, being the last born in a family of eight- four boys and four girls living with both my parents who are 70 and 65 yrs. My family life has been tough, especially in terms of financial support for my education since neither my parents or brothers and sisters are educated or employed. They all depend on farming – small scale farming – as their source of income. I thank God for my parents since life is all about ups and downs but the little they could get has made a difference to my life. I hope to achieve in my tertiary education with good grades so as to become a good teacher by helping learners to solve mathematical problems. In taking my education to a higher level I hope to finally to bring change to my family and assist the younger generation.’