Founded in 2004 by the Manager of the orphanage (Alouis Mwansa, retired Headmaster of Serenje Boys Technical School) and Kevin Gilbert (former volunteer teacher at the same school), 44 children who have lost their parents through HIV-AIDS, malaria, and other poverty-linked causes, are now being cared for.
Mr Kamandete Chuma is the Managing Director. At SOCH ('Serenje Orphans Childrens Home'), the children are fed, washed and educated (at local schools) during the school week (Monday to Friday) and then return home to guardians on weekends. This arrangement means that the link to their natural guardians is not being severed by 'institutionalising' the children, and they are receiving a balanced diet, care and education.
Construction of the dormitory building commenced in late 2005.
On the 2006 ZOA trip to the orphanage a playground was constructed and a football pitch cleared.
In May 2008, the dormitory building was finally completed after long delays due to cement shortages, floods and paperwork approval.
July 2008 - a second visit by a ZOA group assisted the orphanage in various projects described on another page of this website.
In November 2009, the Canteen building was completed. Before this, the children were being fed in a temporary hut, shown below.
A laundry block is also now completed as the result of a generous donation by the Ustinov Foundation. The next construction phase at the orphanage was a security fence around the site to protect the children and to diminish the threat of theft. Then, a sick-bay/manager house, second dormitory and storeroom were constructed (2012). During this period, a water furrow (courtesy of FAO) was built, plus a chicken-run, vegetable garden, and fish pond.
The remaining challenge is to develop a large degree of self-sustainability for the orphanage so that its future is secure, no matter what happens to the fund-raising in our schools.
During 2016, a local Guest-house is under construction. It is anticipated that the profits from this initiative will go towards the running costs of the orphanage, thereby affording the orphanage a degree of self-sustainability.