“Education opens doors to anyone regardless of their status in society.” Isaac, 2021. 

BFZ’s sponsorship programme has helped change the lives of many children and their families. And, it’s not only about helping individuals to meet their potential, it’s investing in the next generation of Zambians who will go on to make a brighter future for their country. One such inspirational young person is Isaac.  

Isaac was one of the first ever children to join our child sponsorship programme. Isaac grew up in Manungu compound in Monze. He was brought up by his grandparents who were deeply committed to his education but struggled to cover the cost of his school fees. Isaac’s Grandma, Bridget was one of the founder members of the orphan and vulnerable children’s project that delivers much of BFZ’s work.  

Like many of our volunteers in Zambia, Bridget found herself unexpectedly caring for young grandchildren in her retirement and was passionate about building networks of support with other carers to improve the lives of the children in their care. She became one of our most committed volunteers and is still an inspiration to all who met her. Sadly, Bridget died in 2015 but not before seeing Isaac complete his secondary education and go on to win a coveted scholarship to study medicine at the University of Lusaka. 

Isaac is now a fully qualified Doctor, working at the University Teaching hospital in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. He plans to become a consultant Obstetrician and would like to have two children of his own one day. He told us “Being a Doctor in Zambia is very fulfilling and I love it”. 

We are all so proud of Isaac and of believe that Bridget’s legacy could not be more fitting.  

10 Years, 10 Weeks, £10K! 


To mark our 10 -year anniversary, members of our trustee board and other supporters have taken on an ambitious challenge to walk/ cycle/ swim or even kayak the length of Zambia and raise £10,000 to help more children like Isaac. After ten exhausting but exhilarating weeks across 1500kms of Zambia’s beautiful (virtual) landscape, the team have reached their final destination of Mgapi on the Mozambican border. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, they have raised over £6000 which will go directly to supporting more children like Isaac to reach their potential. It’s not too late to donate and help the team to meet their final target you can donate here


This year marks BFZ’s ten-year anniversary. Over the past decade, and thanks to the generosity of supporters, our sponsorship programme has supported hundreds of children to achieve an education that would otherwise have been out of reach. Many more children and young people have benefited from weekly wellbeing sessions and one-off workshops addressing areas of pressing need in Zambia such as child marriage and teenage pregnancy. Our first BFZ pre-school offers vital nurture and stimulation to 80 vulnerable children each day.  

We are proud to still be volunteer-led and run. Over the years we have partnered with the same collective of orphan care givers, who work together to improve their own lives and prospects and those of the children in their care. This approach has allowed us to develop d deep relationships with our partners in Zambia and ensures we can live true to our founding principle to always be led and driven by the needs of the communities we support.  

As a small charity we can also respond quickly to urgent situations such as Covid 19 or harvest failures and target our support directly to affected households. It also allows us the privilege of watching the children we support grow-up and celebrating their individual successes. 

As we reflect and celebrate the successes of the past ten years, we prepare to work harder than ever to face the new challenges brought about by the economic downturn in Zambia and the pandemic. We are deeply grateful for the support BFZ has received from regular donors and followers over the years, but we are asking for help once more as we launch our 10 year-anniversary fundraising challenge. 

10 Years, 10 Weeks, 10K!

From 12th September to 20th November (World Children’s Day) 15 of us are walking, cycling, running and/or kayaking 10km a week. We will do this over 10 weeks to make up the combined length of Zambia, a total of 1500km! Each week we will post an update here on our blog and on social media with an inspiring story from our decade of work and an update on our (virtual) progress through the beautiful Zambian landscape. 

We would love it if you could support our campaign by following our stories, liking or sharing our posts and, if you are able to, making a donation. We have an ambitious target of £10,000. This will enable us to further expand our sponsorship programme, set up a new college and university scholarship for our alumni and expand our wellbeing and sexual health programmes.  

Thank you for reading our blog and being part of our Brighter Futures Zambia community. 

Katie and all at BFZ trustees. 

By Katie Anne Smith, Brighter Futures Zambia co-founder and trustee

Zambia is currently experiencing a prolonged drought caused largely by the low rainfall during the ‘rainy season’ which runs from November to March.

This season rains did not arrive until January and were then light and sporadic. The Southern Province, where the community groups BFZ support are located, is worst affected.

Households are running down their food stocks and relying on market purchases and the price of maize, the staple food, has skyrocketed as government stores run dry.

Maize being cut from cobs very depleted harvest, this is for a household with 12 children for one year.

The households we support are already the most vulnerable, often headed by older females and housing several children, they stand to suffer the most. Most of the homes we support rely on the small maize crops they grow to be stored and last throughout the year, and this year these crops failed.

During my visit in April/ May, the fields of maize were a truly sorry sight; endless fields of stunted, desiccated husks where armies of tall plants should have been ripening for harvest. Worse still, the groups informed me that crops of groundnuts, sweet potatoes and beans which usually supplement diets, had also entirely failed.

Here at Brighter Futures Zambia we are ready to help where we can, whilst realising that the scale of the situation requires intervention on a far larger scale.

Thanks to a generous grant we are able to offer a meal supplement to the children who attend our Miyoba preschool; 40% of Zambian children in this age group suffer stunting from malnourishment, so we want to focus on these children as a priority.

The meals that we provide to the children from our seven community groups at our weekly wellbeing sessions will continue to be provided and will be especially important and the children who we sponsor to school will benefit from school meals.

We are discussing further ways we can help with our team in Zambia, but any programme will need FUNDING and we would be very grateful for any support that you can offer.


By Jennie Smith, Brighter Futures Zambia co-founder and trustee

Felix did not have the easiest start in life. He was orphaned when he was still a child and brought up by his Grandmother, Clementina. Clementina has been an active volunteer with Brighter Futures in Zambia since our beginnings. Alongside bringing up her two biological children, she took seven orphans into her care after first her sister and then her own children died. Despite significant health problems of her own, Clementina fought hard to give the children in her care a good life, doing odd jobs as well as brewing and selling beer in her tiny home to feed and clothe them.

Gaining school sponsorship through Brighter Futures Zambia took some of the pressure off Clementina and crucially also allowed Felix to focus on his studies. Sadly in Zambia it is not uncommon to see school pupils making their way home from school at odd hours of the day having been “chased” out of school because the money for fees has run out. This is disruptive to the children’s studies as well as causing stress and shame. Ultimately, the hope is that Zambia will follow in the footsteps of countries such as Uganda and Kenya who have made primary and secondary state education free for all children. However, in the meantime too many children like Felix miss out on their chance to complete their schooling and fulfil their potential.

Despite the many challenges that Felix has faced, he has always been determined to make the most of the opportunities he has been given. After working hard at school, his exam results allowed him to apply for nursing college and we were thrilled when he was offered a place late last year. This wasn’t the end of the struggle though as, despite finding casual work, Felix could not afford to pay the fees to start his studies. Step in our brilliant friends at Think Productive! Think Productive, a productivity training and consultancy company, sponsored Felix through secondary school and, when they heard about his college offer they agreed to step-up their support. This is such a fantastic outcome and we are delighted to report that Felix is now studying hard in his first term at Monze Mission Hospital Nursing College.

When we spoke to Clementina back in 2013, she told us that it was her dream for the children in her care to finish school and be able to support themselves. By starting training as a nurse Felix is well on his way to doing just that, demonstrating the power of education to break the cycle of poverty.

We are so proud of you Felix!

If you would like to find out more about school sponsorship or know of a company like Think Productive who might be able to support more young people like Felix please click here for more information or get in touch.