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A concrete foundation 

Cotton Tree is a community of stubborn hope. Despite the devastation of the civil wars (1988-2002) and more recently the outbreak of Ebola (2014-15), the local people are committed to pursuing a better future; a future of peace and prosperity.

We were introduced to Pastor Kathy Charlie who has served her community for many years. With just $25 LD (20p) she began teaching local children. The community have supported Pastor Charlie to expand her work. The school, The Concrete Foundation, now accommodates 170 students, many of whom are on scholarships directly supported by Pastor Charlie.

Pastor Charlie’s vision had long outgrown the facilities. We joined with Pastor Charlie to develop the school building to accommodate many more young people and to help make the school sustainable for many year to come.

You can read about what we have done, and what we continue to do below.

Kathy Charlie with a teacher and some of the Concrete Foundation students.

Kathy Charlie with a teacher and some of the Concrete Foundation students.


Did you know? 

  • There are roughly 15,000 people living in Cotton Tree and as many as 1,500 rough-sleeping children

  • During the civil wars, Cotton Tree became a strategic stronghold. As a result, the community suffered greatly

  • The majority of schools were destroyed during the wars and an entire generation were denied an education

  • Cotton Tree is beside Firestone, the world's largest rubber plantation

Our work in Cotton Tree 

We are involved in an expanding portfolio of projects, all with our leading partner, Uzimatele Ministries, a locally based organisation who run a school, church, children’s home and widows empowerment project.


Water and Sanitation

We’re proud of the work we have completed with the community of Cotton Tree. Perhaps top of the list is providing access to clean water for over 15,000 people. Residents of Cotton Tree used to either drink rainwater collected in dirty containers or purchase packaged water. People now have access to clean water and can invest the money spent of packaged water on education, food or other necessities.

The provision of water has even stimulated the local economy as entrepreneurs capitalise on the increased footfall.

Teacher Training

The majority of teachers we are working with have only received informal training. We have helped the teachers to access training that has developed their pedagogy skills and confidence to improve education and increase admissions. Ultimately, well trained teachers provide better, and more sustainable, education.

Chairs, books and walls

We’ve been working with a school in Cotton Tree to develop a sustainable business model. As part of this, we helped to improve some of the key resources in order to attract more fee-paying students. As well as better trained teachers, the community helped us to identify the need of chairs, books and walls! Previously, students were required to bring their own chairs. In each class every chair was shared between at least two students and still other would be stood at the back of the room. On one visit we saw students sitting their exams peached on breeze blocks. We’ve now provided chairs with desks for each classroom. We also supported the school to build new classrooms and provided funding for a whole library.