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Serenje Orphans Children's Home



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SOA is a charity which assists orphaned children in Zambia. First established as ZOA ('Zambian Orphans Appeal') by Mr Kevin Gilbert in 2005 at St George’s British International School (Rome, Italy), it is absolutely non-profit making and non-denominational.


The primary objective of SOA is the support of orphaned children in Zambia through the orphanage known as ‘Serenje Orphans Childrens Home.’ The ‘Serenje Orphans Childrens Home’ strives to promote the health and well-being of orphaned children from the Serenje township, assists in the education of these children, and investigates ways for the orphanage to develop self-sustainability.[1]

A fundamental principle of the orphanage is to ensure that the children being assisted are not ‘institutionalised’ in the process, but that they remain closely bonded to their legal guardians – thus, the children live at the orphanage site only during the school week, and return home to their guardians on weekends and during school holidays. The orphanage thus provides a good diet, regular medical check-ups, and opportunities for the children to attend school regularly and to learn life skills for their future.


a) Fundraising for

i) construction of appropriate facilities at the ‘Serenje Orphans Childrens Home’

ii) meeting at least the annual running costs of the orphanage

iii) projects to assist the orphanage towards self-sustainability

b) Awareness-raising (about the plight of African orphans as a result of the HIV-AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa) in communities around the world, particularly schools. An important feature of this is the regular bi-annual visit to the orphanage by a group of students and staff from various ‘SOA Partner Schools’ (Note that SOA fundraising must NOT incorporate the costs of an educational visit to Zambia – participants on these trips have to pay their own costs through their own means or by their own fundraising which is quite separate to SOA fundraising).


Although SOA was first established at ‘St George’s British International School’ in Rome, other schools have also become involved in raising funds and awareness for the SOA cause. On-going accreditation to be a ‘SOA Partner School’ requires the approval of the ZOA Committee, and all such schools will then be listed on this official SOA website. Accreditation requires an adherence to the ‘objectives and aims’ listed above, and a commitment that all funds raised in the name of SOA must be sent either directly to the ‘Serenje Orphans Childrens Home’ bank account in Zambia (or) to the SOA ('Serenje Orphans Appeal') bank account in the UK or to the bank account of the 'Help Ministries Project Orphanage in Chibobo, Serenje District. ‘SOA Partner Schools’ may establish their own Committees to suit their own particular situation.


Whilst there are many ‘SOA Partner Schools’ around the world, the headquarters of SOA is based at the St George’s British International School, Via Cassia, La Storta 00123, Rome, Italy. The official ZOA website is: which is maintained regularly by the founder of SOA (Kevin Gilbert) with each partner school able to display its own latest news via their Blog sites. The official SOA logo is displayed at this website and may only be used by official ‘SOA Partner Schools’.

Items 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 of the items below refer only to the operation of SOA Rome. Therefore, the ‘Committee’ described below refers to the SOA Committee at St George’s British International School. (Other 'SOA Partner Schools' may decide to adopt their own Committee Rules.)


The SOA Committee consists of 11 volunteer members. The ‘St George’s Teacher in Charge of SOA’ (who is appointed by the Principal) is a de facto member of the Committee and is designated as the Chairperson of the Committee. The Treasurer, who may be a parent or a member of staff of the school, is an appointed volunteer and enjoys all privileges of being on the Committee. The other 9 positions are held by St George’s students (see Article 7).


At the end of each calendar year (i.e. by first week December at the latest), a meeting of all interested Yr11 and Yr12 students will be called to elect replacements for the Yr13 committee members who have to stand down from the Committee. Non-Yr13 Committee members may remain on the Committee for the following year. To replace the ‘retiring’ members, a new ‘SOA COMMITTEE’ is then elected by secret ballot at a meeting attended only by the outgoing Committee. A minimum of three (3) Year 11 students must be selected at this meeting since it is important to maintain continuity from one Committee to the next.

There will be occasions when the Committee may wish to co-opt an additional member(s) on to the Committee during the course of that calendar year – this may be to replace a member who has resigned, or because the Committee recognises the value of having such additional person(s) working on the Committee. Such a decision will require at least a two-thirds majority support of the full Committee membership or at least 8 members, whichever is the larger. This co-opted member enjoys the privileges of full membership on the Committee.


The SOA Committee will work as a team, focusing on upcoming fundraising and awareness-raising projects. Their individual strengths and workloads will mean that different people will commit themselves to different tasks at different times. A key principle is that members of the Committee should not do all the work for each project themselves, but rather enlist and motivate non-Committee supporters and then delegate most of the work to these (e.g. for CAS hours). In this way, others are also empowered to assist the children in a practical way. Committee members usually have supervisory roles at major events, ensuring that all volunteers turn up and fulfil their commitments. The Committee offers support for all events beneficial to SOA, within and without the St George’s School community, whether or not the event has originated from the SOA Committee.

SOA Committee Meetings are held weekly during lunchtime. Members must attend all meetings punctually. These meetings may be run by the Chairperson, or by a designated student of the Committee. The agenda for each meeting will usually be set beforehand by the Chairperson in conjunction with student leader(s) of the committee. The Treasurer will count and deposit all funds raised into a bank account and keep accurate records of all donations, expenses and transfers to Zambia. A Secretary will maintain written records of each meeting. Committee members will temporarily assume whatever other Committee positions are needed (usually at sub-committee level) in line with whatever projects are currently underway. Decision-making at a scheduled meeting is based on a majority vote involving a quorum of at least 5 members of the Committee.


Members who miss 3 consecutive meetings (without reasonable grounds, e.g. official absences from school) will lose their positions on the Committee. Any member involved in a public matter that may bring the organisation into disrepute will be dismissed by the Chairperson. As regards serious misconduct by the Chairperson, the Principal of St George’s School, may in turn dismiss the Chairperson from the SOA Committee, and appoint in his/her place another member of staff, or parent.


SOA maintains a Bank account through SGBIS. It is held within the St George’s Association. It expected that the signatories are the Chair of the Association and the Teacher in Charge of SOA. Transfer of funds to Zambia or elsewhere (and any other payments required) may only be effected by the Treasurer or Chairperson after prior authorisation at a Committee meeting attended by at least 6 members of the SOA Committee.


SOA will fund the cost of a return adult airfare, (up to the

value of 1,000 Euros) to Zambia during any year where no full school

trip takes place. The airfare assists a ‘Nominated Individual’ to visit Serenje on SOA’s behalf.

It is intended that their work, whilst in Serenje, would help ensure that there is direct annual contact with

SOA and that the continuity, integrity, and relevance of the

programme’s work is maintained. The SOA Committee will

nominate who is to be given this airfare. Staff members of St George’s

with a demonstrated commitment to SOA, are eligible to be nominated.

In the absence of a staff member who is able to spend the time in

Zambia, the committee may choose to consider an altenative

e.g. an individual who has accompanied a school trip to Serenje

before but is no longer at the school. 


This requires the majority vote of at least two-thirds of the full Committee membership, or at least 8 members, whichever is the larger, and must include the Chairperson.


Should SOA no longer be allowed to operate at St George’s, or should the SOA Committee take the final decision to dissolve the SOA organization at St George’s, then the SOA assets/funds should be disposed of according to the clauses below. This dissolution decision requires the majority vote of at least two-thirds of the full Committee membership, or at least 8 members, whichever is the larger, and must include the Chairperson. The original founder of the ‘Serenje Orphans School Home’ and the SOA Organization (Mr Kevin Adair Gilbert) will then decide which ‘SOA Partner School’ should assume the role of SOA headquarters (to replace the key role held at present by St George’s).


a) If the SOA Committee at St George’s is no longer allowed to operate in the school, then the SOA bank account will be closed after all remaining funds have been transferred to the orphanage in Zambia.

b) Should the orphanage ‘Serenje Orphans School Home’ close or be shut down, then all funds remaining in the SOA bank account should be directed to another non-profit making organization with similar goals in the relief of suffering by orphans in the Serenje area. 

(Constitution adopted May 2008; latest amendment: 21 Dec 2013)

[1] Constitution of ‘Serenje Orphans School Home’ – registered in Zambia on 4/8/2004 under The Societies Rules; Registration Number ORS/102/29/130