What we do

The Lesedi project began in 2014, when we built a small shack to offer pre-school classes to local children living in a rural area near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. In subsequent years we have built a primary school, secondary school and clinic. Virtually all our learners are sponsored, and nutritious school meals are provided. We receive no government support and the whole project is funded by private donations through UK registered charity, Ngoko Charitable Trust.

Primary School

Comprising two pre-school classes and Grades 1-7. Breakfast and lunch is provided daily. A computer hub ensures the children become familiar with technology from a young age.

Secondary School

Still being completed. Currently Forms 1-3, with two streams of learners in each year. We focus on both academic and vocational education. Lunch is provided daily to all children.


Looks after the welfare of the Lesedi kids, along with the wider community. Provides affordable, quality local healthcare. A doctor’s surgery is held weekly at the clinic.

Who are we?

The co-founders of Lesedi, and trustees of Ngoko Charitable Trust, are long-standing friends, Fiona & Graeme Thompson and Benson Siyawareva. Fiona and Graeme are UK-based, and both trained as chartered accountants. Benson is a renowned professional safari guide, living in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Benson and Fiona ran a successful safari company together for 17 years. Graeme had a diverse corporate career, including two CFO roles in multi-billion pound companies.

The trustees work hand in hand with the Lesedi team on the day to day running of the project. Benson project manages all construction projects. Graeme handles the charity finances and monitors all spending at the schools and clinic. Fiona manages the sponsorship program and fundraising.

Because all administrative expenses are borne by the charity trustees and project founders, 100% of your donation is spent on the ground
We personally cover admin costs for the UK charity. The only deductions from your donation are for 3rd party payment processing costs charged by our donation partners.

When we agree a purpose for a donation – that is where your funds are spent
If your donation is for a specific purpose then that is how the funds will be spent – there is no small print that this is just an illustration of how your donation may be used.

We give our time freely!
There are no salary costs for running the sponsorship program, managing the finances, project managing the construction, or general day-to-day management of the project.

Your donation will make a difference
However large or small your donation, you can be confident that it will make a positive difference. Please donate and help change a child’s life today!

How you can help

Sponsor a Child

We aim to provide sponsorship for all our learners at Lesedi Primary and Secondary Schools. Without sponsorship, children in rural areas of Zimbabwe are often absent from school – or drop out early – as there is insufficient money to pay school fees. Learning is often not a priority for poverty-stricken families and children generally have no expectation of completing their schooling.

Help to change the course of a child’s life by sponsoring one of our Lesedi learners. Child sponsorship costs $30 per month / $360 a year and your donations are tax deductible in the USA. Sponsorship from the United Kingdom costs £20 per month with gift aid, and is tax deductible. For UK non-taxpayers the monthly cost is £25.

Sponsor a Teacher

Lesedi Primary and Secondary schools are not allocated any government teachers, so all salary costs need to be covered by Ngoko Charitable Trust. This is a huge financial burden and we would welcome any help you can give. The annual cost of employing just one teacher is between $5,000-$6,000. Are you able to sponsor a teacher for a few months, or even a year or two? We have a lovely campus at Lesedi but without teachers the school is just bricks and mortar.

Support our Feeding Program

We feed around 600 meals each school day at Primary School and over 200 a day at Secondary School. The primary school children start with a warming porridge for breakfast, then all our learners enjoy a nutritious lunch. Lunch always includes fresh veggies, and has a rotating relish of meat, soya chunks or beans. All meals are cooked over an open fire. Many of the veggies are grown by our Agriculture team at Lesedi Secondary.

Feeding is a huge cost for the charity to raise funds for each month, however it is essential for the children. Many would otherwise be learning on an empty stomach and struggling to concentrate. Please help us by contributing to our feeding program. During term time we need to raise around $5 000 each month to keep the feeding program going. This year we will be serving around 150 000 meals. Please sign up to be a monthly donor today and help us to feed our learners. Any contribution is appreciated – no matter how large or small.

Make a Donation

Regular recurring donations are the lifeblood of the charity, whether monthly, quarterly or annual. Our monthly operating costs are substantial and only partially covered by sponsorship income. Recurring donations are really important in helping us to keep the projects going and to plan ahead. Please consider making a regular contribution if you are able to.

We also welcome one-off donations for specific purchases and projects, including capital expenditure. So much is needed when setting up two schools from scratch…from big ticket items such as the buildings to classroom and vocational equipment, textbooks, sports kit and stationery. We can ensure your donation is specifically used for the purpose you have requested.

Add a Bequest to your Will

Please consider leaving a gift in your Will to support our work for future generations. Adding a bequest in your Will to Lesedi will ensure that we can continue to educate, nurture and give hope to thousands of children in the future.

As a charity with no government support, we must plan into the long term. Leaving a bequest, whatever the size, allows us to invest in much needed projects and helps secure Lesedi’s future for many generations to come. 

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