Park Lane Zambia Project

My story

In 2020 my family and I spent a week at a Safari Lodge in the Nsefu area of Eastern Zambia, exploring the Luangwa National Park.This experience was one of the most striking of my life. It was, however, not only the extraordinary landscape and majestic animals which left a lasting impression on me, but the people of the area we visited. The great openness, friendliness and generosity my family experienced were genuinely moving. Having been involved all my adult life with education in one capacity or another, and learning that the area’s only secondary school was sharing the premises of a primary school due to lack of facilities, we began to think about what might be …and this is how the Park Lane Nsefu Co-operation Project was born.

Eighteen months later, you can read here about the progress that has already been made towards the development of the project of construction of a state secondary school with PLIS assistance in Nsefu. This co-operation between us Central Europeans and our friends in Zambia is also giving so many members of the Park Lane community unique insights and opportunities, and it is really exciting to see how co-operation with Zambia is beginning to take an important place in the life of our school both inside and outside the classroom. Examples include the IB Diploma core Creativity Action Service programmes for fundraising being undertaken by IBDP students, and the way, all year 12s studying English A learned about the central role of Zambia’s President Kaunda in the endong of Apartheid in South Africa. Future opportunities to enrich our Geography, History and Science curricula by means of our involvement with friends and partners in Nsefu will be limited only by our imaginations, and we hope that as many members of the Park Lane Community as possible will become involved in one way or another – not only contributing to the development of the Nsefu area but listening, learning and enriching our own lives too.

Jan Bébr
Board member

Initial Information


  • Help with education
  • Support conservation projects
  • Involve our students – educational purpose

Current plans underway: 

Financial support of building a secondary school (block of 3 classrooms + office, incl. water borehole, toilettes).
Short term fundraising projects to support the primary schools in the NSEFU area- involvement our students, the realisation of school activities and project with the aim to raise money for:

  • Stationery
  • Books
  • Chairs, tables
  • Borehole in the community school
  • Conservation projects

Zambia, the country

Picture of youthful Mr Burcher with his Mum, Christmas 1970


Between Europe and the Copperbelt

Five years ago I found myself whiling away an afternoon with a Chinese colleague in a Suzhou teashop. We were working together on a teacher training initiative for the province of Jiangsu, and after a frantic first morning, we were getting to know each other a bit better over a cup of oolong. Inevitably, the “where are you from?” a question came up, something I’ve as You see, I was born in 1970 in the young Republic of Zambia to British parents, and held a Zambian passport until I was 16. It was only because the strictness of Zambian law on dual nationality forced me to renounce my citizenship (I’m British through my parents); I remember my 16th birthday as a slightly sad one because of this. Read more

Would you like to support this project? Please contact

Journey to Zambia

23 October Jan Čihák and Jan Bébr ser off on a journey to Zambia. The purpose of the journey was to see the place, to speak to the local people and representatives of the educational networks there in order to move on with a long term project decided over a year ago – building a secondary school, supporting the local primary schools, and supporting the nature conservation plans and related programmes.

Zambia is a peaceful country compared to other African territories. This was one of the reasons to set up the projects there – a purposeful and sustained educational policy can only succeed in relatively stabilized societies. Zambia became independent in 1964, the long and politically difficult unification of the multicultural and multilingual society of today’s Zambia sets a solid foundation for the development of the country – and any development starts and is underlined continuously with education.The school visits throughout the stay exceeded all expectations: Many shabby school premises, buildings which barely stood together, holes instead of windows and sometimes not even that – even four walls falling apart with a straw shelter can serve as a classroom. Read more

As of September 2020, has the project achieved the following:

  • find a contractor
  • organize the community to clear the land and to bring upfront material, sand and crushed stones
  • build a storeroom to store the material
  • procure some of the material for the main building, sand, crushed stones and blocks.
  • dig the foundation of the main building.
Current Areas of Support

Construction of the Secondary School

Park Lane International School has initiated the construction of a secondary school. This project was triggered by the lack of premises for the secondary students, who continue to study in the Kawaza primary school.

A company has been hired in Nsefu to dig the borehole which is a prerequisite for any construction to begin. The soil is quite sandy there and there is only one company in the area which can work in such conditions.

The funding for this project has already been allocated. It is a long term plan which should be completed with the opening of a newly built secondary school in 2021/22.

Fundraising projects to support the primary schools in the area

  • The children in the Nsefu primary schools lack the basic equipment such as pens, pencils, rulers, paper and other stationery. There have already been some minor projects which address these needs.
  • Last year (in December 2018) a group of KS4 students ran a Winter market stall selling chilli. This was PLIS’s first-ever little Zambia project which, along with the hot wine stall, raised about 14 000 CZK.
  • Students from KS3 spent almost every lunchtime for a few weeks before this year’s Park Lane Winter market and crafted some wonderful earrings and bracelets, being supported by Mrs Slavětínská. These were sold successfully at the Winter market and, along with the stall selling wine (Wine for Zambia), a hot wine stall and the bottle raffle we have raised about 33 000,- CZK this year.

Would you like to support this project? Please contact Jan Čihák at