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Serenje Orphans Children's Home

(SOCH)


SOCH ('Serenje Orphans Childrens Home') was founded in 2004 by Alouis Mwansa (former Headmaster of Serenje Technical School) and Kevin Gilbert (Australian teacher volunteer) to care for vulnerable orphaned children, it is managed by Angus Kamandete Chuma under a local Board of Governors. 


Residing at SOCH are 28 children mainly of Primary School age. Children leaving SOCH are supported in their High School education. New sustainability projects at SOCH (i.e. SOCH Inn and SOCH Maize Mill) are expected to provide about 35% of annual running costs in 2023.

The Running Costs of the SOCH Ophanage

The SOCH orphanage cares for 28 children who live on the site during the school term. During holidays, these children return to their legal guardians. Older orphans who have left the orphanage continue to be supported in their secondary education at boarding schools and local high schools through provision of their fees and school uniforms. A few older orphans who dropped out of schooling are being trained in carpentry skills (following the launching of the project through a visit Melbourne Polytechnic staff and students in 2018). An annual budget is set by Kevin Gilbert the co-founder of SOCH (who now acts as a Facilitator for SOCH, SOA, and ZOA), in collaboration with Angus Kamandete Chuma (SOCH Managing Director) and 

John Talbot (ZOA Coordinator in Rome) and Philip Shaw (SOA Coordinator in Geneva). In 2023, about GBP 38,000 will be needed to meet the running costs of SOCH (excluding the education costs which are presently met thanks to a recent legacy). This running costs are met (about one third each) through our partner school charities ZOA and SOA and the sustainability projects at SOCH (the guesthouse and maize mill). But we welcome donations from interested parties since fund-raising in school environments have proved challenging in recent years due to Covid restrictions.

Children who complete secondary school are usually not formally supported further by SOA Geneva and ZOA Rome fundraising, since the top priority of SOCH is to give young vulnerable Primary School orphans a solid educational foundation through good diet, loving care, and the best local Primary School education. The second priority is to support those ex-SOCH orphans who continue to succeed at Secondary School, and those others who have not succeeded at Secondary School. Payment of tertiary fees are unfortunately beyond the financial capacity of our fundraising base  and these have to be sourced separately from private sponsors (like families) through Kevin Gilbert, Founder and Facilitator. 

ZOA ('Zambian Orphans Appeal') is the main school charity of St George's British International School in Rome, Italy. Established in 2005 by Kevin Gilbert as a means to support SOCH through the provision of funds for construction of buildings and annual running costs. The ZOA Teacher Coordinator is John Talbot. A ZOA student committee is elected each year and provides leadership across the campus for the annual fund-raising initiatives. Every two years, there is a student trip to Zambia where participants get to know the SOCH children and work at various projects identified by the SOCH leadership. The next ZOA trip should be in 2023. ZOA presently provides one third of the annual running costs of SOCH.

SOA ('Serenje Orphans Appeal') is one of the school charities of Collège du Léman, Geneva, Switzerland. Established in 2009 by Kevin Gilbert, SOA now also provides about one third of the annual running costs of SOCH and has been heavily involved in the SOCH Inn and Maize Mill sustainability projects.The Teacher Coordinator of SOA, Philip Shaw, works with SOA High School students to raise funds and awareness within the Collège du Léman community. Every 2 years, there is also a student trip to Zambia, very similar to the ZOA one. 

How to Donate

SOA ('Serenje Orphans Appeal') is officially registered in the UK as a charity (Number 1127234). This allows SOA to use charity websites like JustGiving.com when raising funds. The SOA charity trustees are volunteers, chaired by Ms Molly Shearer, herself a former UK teacher volunteer (VSO) in Serenje.  


- ALL FUNDS ARE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR AND ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE RECIPIENT ORPHANAGE -

IT COSTS US ON AVERAGE ABOUT GBP75 TO SUPPORT 1 CHILD THROUGH SOCH FOR A MONTH (or) YOU MAY WISH TO HELP ONE OF THE CHILDREN TO ATTEND A LOCAL COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY BY SPONSORING THEIR FEES, WHICH ARE ABOUT GBP800 PER YEAR (THIS INCLUDES THE BOARDING COST). HERE IS THE LINK: Donate for tertiary fees OR EMAIL US BEFORE DONATING, FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Contact Us

Are you interested in LEARNING MORE about SOCH, ZOA or SOA?

Are you interested in a 6 week VOLUNTEERING stint in Serenje at the orphanage?

Are you interested in assisting SOCH through a SPECIFICALLY TARGETED DONATION (e.g. for college/university sponsorship of a child)?

CONTACT EMAIL:      [email protected]