Assistant in Agriculture Initiative Assistant in Education Initiative Katete, Zambia Tikodane Community Center
Education initiative volunteers will assist in pre-primary and secondary education initiatives that support over 100 students!
Assistant in Health Initiative Katete, Zambia Tikodane Community Center
Health initiative volunteers will help Tiko promote basic health and nutrition practices in the villages which sport worst statistics from our nutrition in the world
Assistant in Agriculture Initiative Katete, Zambia Tikodane Community Center
Katete struggles with poor soil and lack of irrigation. Agriculture volunteers can help teach sustainable techniques and introduce new crops!

7 Project reviews of Tikodane Community Center

Project Details

Tikondane Community Centre works to help locals lift themselves out of poverty through better education, health, and entrepreneurship.

Who we are?

Tikondane Community Centre is run by a diverse crew of 85 local volunteers (the Tiko crew) led by a local Board of Directors and Tiko Director- Elke Kroeger-Radcliffe. 

What we do?

Tikondane Community Centre works to provides technical, educational, and financial supports for charitable activities that reduce poverty, fight disease, provide education, promote entrepreneurship, and create jobs. These activities include our primary school, HIV/AIDS counselling, agricultural shows,lessons for adult learners, and teaching 19 Steps out of Poverty for the Subsistence Farmer. We also provide allowances for our 85 volunteers.

Where we work?

Zambia is one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth. Katete is a rural area in the Eastern Province, roughly 6 hours from Lusaka and 2 hours from the Malawi border. There are 244,000 people living in Katete District. Tikondane’s catchment area covers approximately 16,000 people and 53 villages. Most of our catchment area depends on subsistence farming to produce the staple food crop of maize. 

The soil is poor, due to the use of artificial fertilizer (which is now incredibly expensive) resulting in low crop yields. After the harvest, some produce is sold to provide cash for necessities such as salt, soap, school fees, and clothes.As a result by January, three months before the next harvest, supplies of maize run out and the hungry season begins. Add to this an imbalanced diet, contaminated water supplies, the consequences of HIV/AIDS, and the general lack of educational opportunities, and it becomes obvious that life is extremely difficult in Katete.

However, the local population is very friendly and hospitable. Many rely on extended family for assistance and generosity is a hallmark of Chewa culture. The area is safe as most crime is opportunistic petty theft. For travellers, malarial prophylaxis is strongly recommended as malaria is very common here. Many locals use boreholes for water, which is very safe to drink.

Our history

Tiko owes much of its success to the efforts and wisdom of one woman – Elke Kroeger-Radcliffe (pictured right). A German-born Australian widow, Elke has travelled the world spending many years studying cross-cultural psychology. Sister Elke, as she is affectionately called, arrived at the nearby St. Francis Hospital in 1993, to teach trainee nurses, having just done a nursing course in Sydney to be ready to fight HIV & AIDS.

In the years that followed, she immersed herself in Zambian culture, attempted to learn the local language and very soon started to work on the most pressing and obvious problem of illiteracy. When villagers came to join the classes in the nursing school hospital, management became a bit worried and restricted this to staff personnel only. A venue for literacy classes was found next to the hospital, given by the Chief. ‘Tikondane Community Centre’ was born!

Professor Jack Radcliffe, Elke’s late husband, provided the real foundation on which Tiko was built. It is the independence through a widow’s pension that allowed Elke to found Tikondane. He is respectfully commemorated at ‘Agogo House’, which means ‘Grandfather’ in ‘Chichewa’.

It was obvious from the beginning that Tikondane could not survive solely on donations, and so it was necessary to establish Income-Generating Activities (IGAs). Thus, other than the verandah for teaching, the existing structure was turned into guest rooms. A restaurant was also added. Elke’s brother and his wife helped to set up other activities, such as soap making and a first attempt at the now famous peanut butter. 

Tikondane Community Centre was formally established as a community-based organization under the Societies Act on 30th July 1999 when it was granted a certificate of registration, and officially opened in September of that year. From the beginning, the centre received support from many different areas, all over the world. Such generosity is recognized by the names given to the various buildings and guestrooms.

 All of this has allowed a strong foundation, on which Tikondane is built today.

Our mission/vision

To fight poverty in Katete through better education, health and entrepreneurship; helping people to help themselves while maintaining their traditional culture and values

Our goals

  • To promote sustainable farming techniques and entrepreneurship through our 19 Steps out of Poverty for the Subsistence Farmer
  • To encourage responsible sexual behavior including knowing your HIV/AIDS status and encouraging child spacing
  • To provide education for children and adult learners
  • To teach about hygiene, sanitation, and clean water
  • To provide resources about a balanced diet and the importance of proper nutrition, especially for children

Who are we looking for?

We offer our volunteers a chance to work in the fields of education, healthcare, agriculture, marketing, handcrafting, radio production, and more! We also encourage our creative volunteers to propose their own ideas and projects, and independently execute them with us at Tiko. Love art? Perfect, start art classes for children or adults. Have a degree in Business? Hold seminars for our workers on how to invest. We are always working to encourage creativity that can be used to better both the volunteer and the community of Tikodane.

We accept volunteers from all backgrounds and experiences as long as they come with a sense of humor, an open mind and a willingness to become a part of the Tiko community. 

 Why choose us?

Katete is not part of your typical traveller route, offering a look into an area seeped in history and ‘Chewa’ culture. As such, volunteers will have a unique, authentic Zambian experience. You will quickly become part of the Tiko family and community. Your work and presence will leave a lasting impact.

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
Contact Person
Elke Kroeger-Radcliffe
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

More than of Tiko volunteers have complete half the steps out of poverty, providing greater stability for themselves and their families. Our HIV/AIDS program provides counseling for more than 100 people and hands out hundreds of male and female condoms weekly. More than 60 children attend our school and many more adults have attended our adult education lessons including computer skills and English lessons. 

In 2005, 50 women from our partner villages attended a seminar to learn about basic health, development, and HIV/AIDS. Today, 37 of these women continue to learn additional skills and information while reporting back about agricultural and health developments in their village. 

These are just a few examples of our impact over the last 18 years of service in Katete. 

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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