About Us

“We are building a community here in the UK to work alongside the community in Zambia to fight poverty and create change” – Co-founder and trustee, Katie Lavender

Brighter Futures Zambia is a small charity that makes a big difference to vulnerable children and young people in Zambia. We provide the education and holistic support children need to live happier, healthier and safer lives while realising their potential to achieve brighter futures.

Brighter Futures Zambia work in partnership with Buntolo OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children), a Zambian community-based organisation in Monze District in the Southern Province of Zambia. Together, BFZ and Buntolo run projects that provide education, support and care for children and young people. We believe that children need healthy communities to thrive and we run projects that build community capacity and sustainability.

Everyone involved with Brighter Futures Zambia – both in the UK and in Zambia – are dedicated to fighting poverty and offering some of the most vulnerable children the chance of a brighter future.

Our Values

  • We work hand in hand with our Zambian partners.
  • We are led by our partners and respond to their needs and priorities. 
  • Seeding income generation activities is part of our mission to reduce donor dependency and help our partners move towards financial sustainability.
  • We are thoughtful and consider the ethics of our interventions. 
  • We welcome critical friends.


Brighter Futures Zambia was born through a collaboration between our founder Katie and a group of Zambian women who were determined to make better futures for the children in their communities. Many of the children had been orphaned due to HIV/Aids and were being cared for by grandmothers, aunts and community members. Katie worked with the women while on a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) placement with Buntolo OVC, an organisation set up in 2001 to deliver projects that would enable community groups to feed, clothe, educate and counsel the children.

In 2011, on her return to the UK and inspired by the impact of the groups’ work, Katie founded Brighter Futures Zambia with her sister, Jennie; co-founder Anthony and hand in hand with Buntolo OVC. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, BFZ has developed and expanded; and we continue to work with Buntolo OVC to support children through every stage of their development, from pre-school to tertiary education and to enable their communities to thrive.


children supported through education in 2022


Good Goats since 2015


pre-school meals provided every week


children and young people accessing weekly Wellbeing sessions

Our BFZ Project Coordinator and Assistant work alongside the Buntolo OVC Project Manager seven community Group Leaders.

Zambia Team

Naomi Phiri

BFZ Programme Coordinator

Naomi is our Programme Coordinator. Naomi is trained in Community Development and improving the lives of the most vulnerable is her passion. Naomi comes from Southern Province and has a vision for Zambia where all young people, no matter their background, can achieve a good life and realise their potential. Naomi works to help us make sure that our programmes deliver the maximum impact and she ensures great communication between the UK and Zambia.

Sister Purity

Buntolo OVC Project Manager

Sister Purity is the Project Manager for Buntolo OVC. Sister Purity has a background in community development and education, and is committed to creating better prospects for vulnerable children and their communities. We work hand in hand with Sister Purity and Buntolo OVC to run our projects in Zambia.

Clara Muchimba

Clara Muchimba

BFZ Project Assistant

Clara is our BFZ Project Assistant and a founding member of Atugwasyane community group who has helped to shape our work from its inception.Clara uses her skills in administration and finance to support the smooth running and of our projects. Clara draws on her decades long involvement with psycho-social programmes tyo train and build capacity amongst newer group members. Clara has dedicated her life to improving the prospects of children in her community and those around her.

Buntolo OVC Group Leaders

Buntolo OVC Group Leaders

Community Group Leaders

Our 14 groups leaders run the 7 community groups where we run our projects. All the group leaders do so on a voluntary basis and each woman is caregiver in their own right. Our Group Leaders help shape our programmes and lead the other women in their community groups to deliver activities as well as providing support and advice to the groups.

UK Team: Trustees

Katie Lavender


Katie founded Brighter Futures Zambia in 2011 after working as a volunteer with Buntolo OVC and is now Chair of Trustees. Alongside running Brighter Futures Zambia and bringing up her two children, Katie works in Global Education at Newcastle University. She is also a qualified teacher and volunteers with a community based English language teaching project.

Jennie Smith


Jennie is co-founder and trustee of Brighter Futures Zambia. For more than fifteen years, Jennie has worked in the UK charity sector, managing volunteering and community development projects. She is currently a Senior Manager for Team London, the Mayor of London’s volunteering programmes. Jennie has visited our projects several times and spent her sabbatical volunteering with Brighter Futures Zambia.

Anthony Hopper

Founding Trustee

Anthony is a founding trustee of Brighter Futures Zambia. He is CEO of creative agency Lowe Open and leads on all of our marketing and promotional activity. His three young children keep him busy when he is not working for Lowe Open or Brighter Futures Zambia.

Caitriona MacLoughlin


Caitriona became involved with Brighter Futures Zambia after listening to Katie’s passionate descriptions of her work for the charity. She became a trustee and the charity’s Secretary in 2015. She is Head of Compliance at a television broadcaster. Caitriona has visited our projects several times.

Kevin Chadelle


Kevin has been a BFZ trustee since the end of 2016 and is also our Treasurer. He is a chartered accountant and currently works as a Finance Manager for a diagnostic company. Kevin is a French national who has previously worked in Africa.

Katy Hampshire


Katy has been a trustee of BFZ since 2014. Katy is a chartered accountant and is currently the Director of UK charity Education and Employers. Katy previously worked for a number of years in international development supporting community projects across Africa and Asia and spent time volunteering in Uganda and India. Katy has a post graduate diploma in Development Management and she had the pleasure of visiting our projects in Zambia in 2015.

Ciara Devlin


A long-time supporter of the charity and child-sponsor, Ciara joined the board of BFZ in 2019. Ciara has worked in the charity sector for 15 years, most of those for Crisis, the national homelessness charity in the UK. Her background is primarily fundraising and project management. She grew up in Lusaka, Zambia until the age of 13, and so Zambia is very close to her heart.

Alice Watson


Alice became a trustee of BFZ in 2019, having volunteered for and supported the charity since its beginnings. A qualified teacher, Alice has taught in the UK and Spain and was a co-opted primary school governor for 8 years. She also has experience of community fundraising, research and project development. Alice currently teaches ESOL students at City of Bristol College.

Chris Widdison


Chris became a BFZ trustee in 2019 after sponsoring a child and being impressed by the charity’s work. Chris is a lawyer at Travers Smith, a long-standing provider of support to the charity.

UK Team: Volunteers

Ryan Cornelius

Web Design

Ryan runs Ryan Cornelius Design, a multifunctional creative design agency based in Nottingham. He volunteered to build the BFZ website and keeps it running smoothly.

Jill Kenrick

Gift Aid Officer

As our Gift Aid Officer, Jill ensures your donations make even more of a difference to Zambian orphans and vulnerable children by organising Gift Aid on eligible donations.

Morley Smith

Finance Officer

Morley has dedicated his career to education, with over fifty years experience of teaching maths to secondary school pupils. He is one of our longest standing sponsors and helps us to keep our finances in order as our Finance Officer.

© Brighter Futures Zambia 2024 | Company address: 21 Hawthorn Gardens, Whitley Bay, NE26 3PQ HMRC Small Charity Tax Reference number:- XT38379 Registered Charity No. 1162851 (England & Wales)
Web: Ryan Cornelius Design