From Street Child to Science Teacher

Kunda Benson teaching at the Friends of Street Children (FSC) shelter for boys at Kawama

We have written about Kunda before. He came to the FSC as a street child.

For many street children getting back into mainstream education after months, or years of living rough is very difficult. To find the grit to catch up, slog through year after year of exams, moving up through the school system, and into higher education requires imagination and determination. Kunda did not find it easy, but succeeded and qualified as a teacher. Throughout this long progress, he had always said that he wanted to help other homeless children. While waiting for a post in the Zambian national education system, he is teaching at FSC. As an ex street child he is an inspiration.

Zambia has many dialects, including 7 major languages. Kunda writes on the black board in English, but the class is taught in Bemba, which all the boys understand, even if their mother tongue is different: quite a challenge though.

The aim is to get the street children in the class up to a level at which they can rejoin mainstream education. Should they achieve this, the cost of sending a child to school are 2000 kwatcha ( £65 at the time of writing) per child, per year. The cost of children attending primary school is half this. A uniform costing £12 will also have to be found for each child. Uniforms are passed down, but eventually they wear out.

Depending on the exchange rate, Kunda’s 3 year teacher training course cost about £370 a year. This was paid thanks to the generosity of Romilly’s supporters and donors. There are currently a number of children at the shelter who have the ability and determination to enter higher academic or vocational education, but cannot do so for lack of funds. Most courses could be paid for with a donation of £30 pounds a month. These children have had a very rough start and helping Kunda has been very rewarding.

For the time being, thanks to the generosity of Romilly’s donors her charity has also been able to cover the FSC staff salaries, a total of £800 – £1000 a month.

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From Street Child to Teacher

” I walk more than 6 kms to school and back. It is great excercise but sometimes I get too tired”, says Kunda Benson. When he was very young, five years old, both Kunda’s parents died and he ended up homeless, living on the streets from 1999 to 2002. He was taken into care by Friends of Street Children in Kitwe (FSC). Kunda had the imagination to see that it was worth going back to school, which, with FSC’s help, he did. He had the character and determination to pass his exams year after year, while also helping at the FSC shelter.  He succeeded in passing the exams to take a place on a teacher training course. Now he will be taking his final exams in April, which will enable him to start his teaching practice. Kunda has always wanted to give something back and still helps at the FSC shelter.


Kunda in the lab.

Kunda’s choice may seem like the obvious one, but not to all street children. For many, the idea of submitting to the discipline of the classroom in order to achieve long term goals is too difficult. Kunda has shown real imagination, tremendous purpose and determination, but there are other street children like Kunda, who follow his example. Their school fees need to be paid. Currently  these are about £88 p.a per child in secondary school, depending on the exchange rate. If you would like to donate to support street children returning to school, please go to

Thanks to the donors and supporters of Romilly, the college fees of this exceptional young man have been paid for the last three years. Thank you all. Kunda writes, ‘I am so thankful for everything that you are doing for me and I am deeply humbled’.

Kunda Benson ex Street Child, and, thanks to Romilly’s generous supporters, Trainee Teacher.

After his teaching practice he will return to college for six more months. If you would like to contribute to his fees for this, please donate at