Zambia Exchange Programme

Our Zambian Exchange Programme links Kingsmead School with Mukuba Boys’ and Helen Kaunda Girls’ Schools in Kitwe, Zambia.  The programme follows a two year cycle where both students and teachers make reciprocal exchange visits.  The first exchange took place in 2000-2001 and since then more than 250 students and numerous staff from the three schools have taken part in this life changing experience.

In each two year cycle just 12 Kingsmead students are selected to participate, ideally with an equal mix of boys and girls from Years 9 and 10.  Our students are partnered with students from Kitwe.  We are now in the course of running our eleventh exchange; during the first stage Zambian students and teachers will travel to the UK to stay with their host families, then our students and teachers will make a return visit staying with their partners.  Each visit lasts approximately two weeks.  By staying with partners in their homes students really do become part of the family and gain a stronger insight into the differences and similarities in culture and lifestyle.

Fund raising is a key element of the programme which students, staff and parents are all involved in.  Sweet and cake sales, quiz nights, school discos, auctions of promises and ‘Murder-Mystery’ evenings are just some of the events that have taken place.

A Student’s View

“The journey to Kitwe took us just over 24 hours to complete; immediately we were greeted by our hosts and the hot weather.  In the evenings we spent time getting to know our host families and the local area.  We got to try some of the country’s traditional foods, including a starched based side called ‘enshima’, which they use to pick up their food as they rarely use cutlery.  Multiple times we got to visit the boys’ and girls' schools; whilst there we got to experience some of their lessons and we ran a conference about Climate Change. 

We also visited another school for both primary and secondary students.  It was different from many schools in Zambia as it had both male and female students in all classes, and it also had a special classroom for deaf children.  

Towards the end of our stay we travelled down to Livingstone where we visited Victoria Falls and went on a safari where we saw some amazing sights.  Personally, this was one of my favourite parts of the trip as it really brought all of us students (English and Zambian) closer together.  It also gave us the chance to see some of the most amazing animals up close and one of the wonders of the world. 

Zambia is one of the best experiences this school has to offer and although it isn't always easy it’s a fantastic experience for any student to have.”  

Ellie Harris (Exchange Student 2017-2019)