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Zambia Trip

Year 8 pupils enjoy an adventure of a lifetime over the Easter break

Over the Easter holidays, 18 intrepid Year 8s had the adventure of a lifetime on our inaugural school trip to Lusaka, Zambia.  The itinerary included visits to our partner charity, Twende Education For All, as well as some amazing encounters with the local wildlife and the chance to learn about Zambian culture. 

After an exhausting day of travel (22 hours, two planes and a quick stop over in Dubai) the group arrived at their home for the next eight days: the American International School of Lusaka.  Here, Miss Broom describes some of the trip highlights: 

Twende Education For All

Our charity partner in Zambia is Twende Education for All. Twende was founded by teacher Andrea Mwualua to provide educational opportunities for children undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses that necessitate a long-term stay in hospital, often far away from home. With continued support from Heath Mount, Twende is making a difference in the lives of young people through education and play, which helps more children to complete their treatments.

We loved our time visiting Twende. On our first visit, we were treated to a show of traditional song and dance, with audience participation very much required! Our pupils needed little encouragement to join in the dancing, and soon our first meeting had turned into a celebration as teachers and parents also joined in the fun. Special mention to Mr Spowart and Mr Stevenson who took to the floor with gusto for their dance solo!

Heath Mount pupil hugs one of the young patients at Twende Education For All learning centre at the hospital in lusakaNow that we were all firm friends, the Heath Mount pupils spent the rest of their first visit learning games from the children. We learnt to play a ‘mancala’ game – a game of strategy where two players compete to collect the most stones on their side of the board. Other children learnt to play diketo, a throwing and catching game that rewards the most coordinated. Although our pupils made a good effort, their skills were no match for the mastery of their new Zambian friends!

Heath Mount and Twende Staff

For our part of the cultural exchange, we returned to Twende a few days later with our own show, of which ‘The Hokey Cokey’ was undoubtedly the headline act! It was such a hit that the pupils were asked to reprise it on our third, and final, visit. During that final visit, we exchanged gifts. We were all touched by the thoughtful handmade gifts that we received, including cards and bracelets. We left Twende with sadness but grateful for our new friendships, and a deep understanding of everything that we have in common. We are grateful to the staff at Twende for their kindness and hospitality and we look forward to our future visits.

A Visit from Dr. Robb Sheneberger and a visit to Chesed Academy

We were fortunate to receive a visit from Dr Robb Sheneberger, the Head of Secretariat at the HIV Control Working Group at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia.  He told us about his career, explaining how his experiences as a doctor in his native California during the AIDS crisis brought him to Africa almost twenty years ago. He explained the causes and solutions to the epidemic, noting the significant improvements in outcomes for patients in Africa and giving us an insight into his current work.  

After his talk, Dr Sheneberger accompanied us to Chesed Academy, a school on the outskirts of Lusaka that he founded to provide an education for children who lost parents during the AIDS epidemic. Today, the school is flourishing and teaches pupils from the local area. Our pupils had the opportunity to visit classrooms and experience a Zambian education before what was the highlight of the trip for many, a Zambia vs. England football match!

boys from Heath Mount School and Chesed Academy line up for a photo on the football pitch

After the match, the teachers at Chesed showed great kindness by offering us a traditional meal of sausage, curried tomatoes, Chinese cabbage and nshima, a maize dish that is the staple of the Zambian diet.  Miss Broom got to help with the cooking and our pupils got to experience the traditional way of eating nshima, by using our fingers!


When we encountered a chameleon casually hanging out in the trees at the American School on our first day, we knew that our trip was going to be filled with remarkable animals.

orphaned elephants at Chaminuka LusakaOn our safari at Chaminuka Game Reserve, we got up close with lions, giraffes and met Miss. Jackson’s class mascot, the Dung Beetle! At the Kalimba Reptile Park, we hung out with the alligators and adders and then at the National Park of Lusaka we went footprint tracking as part of our morning learning about conservation before a very special visit to see the rescued baby elephants at feeding time.


During our reflection task on our first morning in Zambia, we reflected on what we already knew about Zambia and created a list of questions that we hoped to answer on our trip to the Zambia National Museum. As well as learning about Zambia’s fascinating history, the pupils dressed up in traditional Zambian dress and posed in the museum’s traditional village scene.

Later in the week, we visited Kabwata, a recreation of a traditional village in Lusaka. We toured the village learning about the wooden crafts that are created using ancient methods. After an exciting dance show, we had our first experience of bartering as we used the local currency, kwacha, to purchase presents to take home.

The pupils were exceptional throughout their Lusaka adventure and our teaching staff were very proud of the way in which they conducted themselves.

"In over 20 years of leading international trips and sports tours, this is one of, if not the most, impressive groups of young people I've had the honour of taking away.  They've thrown themselves at everything and shown such kindness, warmth and engagement - building connections every step of the way."

Mr Spowart, Deputy Head (Pastoral)