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Chiparamba Trust Zambia

Commonwealth Point of Light 70. John Zimba

John Zimba, representing Zambia, is the founder of the ‘Chiparamba Trust’ which promotes literacy and citizenship to help give young people in rural Zambia a better start in life.

John Zimba

After completing his Chevening Scholarship studying education policy at the University of Glasgow in 2016, John was inspired to return to Zambia and give back to his local community through educational programmes. Drawing on nearly a decade of experience as a teacher, his projects tackle community issues such as teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, and youth disengagement. Last year John decided to build a primary school from scratch to help disadvantaged children in his hometown in the Eastern Province of Zambia. With 60 per cent of the Zambian population living in poverty, without John’s school over 200 children would not be in education at all. As a result of his community work, John was selected to take part in the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

John was presented with his award by Fergus Cochrane-Dyet OBE, UK High Commissioner in Zambia.

Fergus Cochrane-Dyet OBE, UK High Commissioner in Zambia, said:

“You richly derive this award, John, for your splendid work which I saw for myself when you took me to the village near Chipata in August last year.”

John said:

“This is great news, thank you. It really came unexpected and I’m extremely humbled by this award. It comes at a time when I’m being awarded as a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow, another prestigious award. I went there for a six week training in Civic Leadership in the USA. The Queen’s award is exceptional and it strengthens my resolve to continue the fight for the marginalised groups in the society I live in. It’s the apex of my career and I’m short of words.

“I got inspired by this quote engraved on the wall at the Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial Sq in Washington DC during my visit and it reads:

‘Make a career of humanity, commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights, you will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.’ Martin Luther King Jnr 1959.

“This is the feeling I have after being nominated for this award. It’s the legacy I’m committed to pursue and live by.”


The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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