John Zimba

MSc Young People, Social Inclusion and Change 2016 

John Zimba is a vehicle of community empowerment and a true representative of Glasgow’s Global World Changers. A teacher by profession, John graduated with distinction in 2016 before leaving Glasgow to register Chiparamba Trust: a charity organisation with the view of helping uplift the lives of marginalised communities in his home country of Zambia.  

‘John’s leadership and influential role mean he impacts the lives of people in their communities embodying the University motto, “Via, Veritas, Vita”’. - Dr Julie E McAdam

Disturbed by a lack of educational resource in community schools, John embarked on a robust fundraising scheme, using his UK connections to help spearhead its success. Today, John and his team have reached over 20 rural communities, promoting quality education and empowerment programmes. Sustainable life skills such as tailoring, carpentry, and agriculture are offered, in addition to new infrastructure, educational materials, and community-led workshops for vulnerable children and adults. It's estimated over 5000 school children in the last 5 years have directly benefitted from Chiparamba’s cause.   

These accomplishments have not gone without recognition, earning John some of the most prestigious international awards. In 2018, He was selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which is the US Embassy flagship of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). In the same year, John became the second Zambian to be recognized as Zambia’s Point of Light by Her Majesty the Queen, for his outstanding achievement in addressing Zambia’s rural inequalities.   

Currently, John’s connection with the UK continues through his doctorate in Education Research at the University of East Anglia, where he explores literacy strategies for rural women to enhance sustainable development.   

John’s work directly resonates with 3 key UN Sustainable Development Goals: Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, and Reduced Inequalities. The materials that Chiparamba Trust offer are free and accessible to all. They empower local communities through creating equal opportunities for an employable, skilled workforce for implementing sustainable livelihoods, such as climate-smart farming techniques that adapt to the constantly changing environment. Education, as outlined above, is a primary focus of John’s work, where he has been instrumental in fighting for quality education where it's needed most.  

Supporters including fellow alumni Eunice Ntobedzi believe John carries the true spirit of the ubuntu humanitarian philosophy that states ‘I am because we are’. As Dr Julie E McAdam of the School of Education concludes: ‘John’s leadership and influential role mean he impacts the lives of people in their communities embodying the University motto, “Via, Veritas, Vita”’.