SOCH was originally 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 has been managed for the past 14 years by Angus Kamandete Chuma under a local Board of Governors.
Up until the end of 2023, SOCH (under its former name 'Serenje Orphans Childrens Home') has operated primarily as an orphanage caring for about 20 children who lived on the site during the school term. During holidays, these children returned to their legal guardians. Older children who had left the orphanage continued to be supported in their secondary education at boarding schools and local high schools through provision of their fees and school uniforms. Some who dropped out of schooling were offered a training in carpentry skills (following the launching of the project through a visit by Melbourne Polytechnic staff and students in 2018).
THE RUNNING COSTS OF SOCH
There are currently 3 sources of income which maintain SOCH operations.
These are the two school-based charities ZOA and SOA, and SOCH self-sustainability projects.
ZOA ('Zambian Outreach Appeal') which was formerly the 'Zambian Orphanage 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 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 most recent trip was in June 2023. ZOA presently provides one third of the
annual running costs of SOCH.
SOCH ('Serenje Outreach for Children's Help') two self-sustainability Projects which have been in operation for the past 5 years - SOCH Inn guesthouse, and SOCH Hammer maize mill.
These projects are described in another section on this website.
From January 2025, due to the success of the Zambian government regarding HIV/AIDS,
SOCH will no longer operate as an orphanage child care facility. Instead, SOCH will continue
its mission as a charity in the Serenje Township through the provision of education and
boarding for disabled and other vulnerable children in its
SOCH Charity School to be operational from January 2024 and extend the support in form of disability rehabilitation through health sponsorship. The aim of the private SOCH Charity
school is to use the income from fee-paying day students to provide bursaries for disadvantaged children to attend the school as full students.
The long-range goal is for SOCH to become fully self-sustainable and independent of regular
overseas donor support.
SOA ('Serenje Outreach Appeal') which was formerly called the 'Serenje Orphanage Appeal' is one of the school charities of Collège du Léman, Geneva, Switzerland.Established in 2009 by Kevin Gilbert, SOA is currently providing about one third of the annual running costs of SOCH
and has been heavily involved in the SOCH Inn and the SOCH 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. A trip is being planned for July 2024.
Children who complete secondary school are usually not formally supported further by SOA Geneva and ZOA Rome fundraising, since the top priority of SOCH has been to give young vulnerable Primary School children 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 children 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.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP A YOUNG PERSON TO RECEIVE A TERTIARY EDUCATION,
PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING LINK:
ALL FUNDS ARE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR AND ARE TRANSFERRED TO SOCH.
IT COSTS ON AVERAGE ABOUT £800 PER YEAR (TUITION FEES PLUS ACCOMMODATION) FOR A STUDENT TO ATTEND A LOCAL COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY
SOA ('Serenje Orphans Appeal') is our officially registered supporting charity
in the UK (Number 1127234).
This allows SOA to use charity websites like JustGiving.com when raising funds.
The SOA charity trustees are volunteers, chaired by Molly Shearer, herself a former
UK teacher volunteer (VSO) in Serenje at the time of the founding of SOCH.
How to Donate
Any questions? Please email us: