Learn a little more about who we are and where to find us!
Where We Are
The geological fault known as the Great Rift Valley runs from the Red Sea down through East Africa and, as it enters Zambia, divides; one arm to the east and Lake Malawi and one to the West.
This Western arm becomes the Luangwa Valley and stretches south east for seven hundred kilometres with an average width of about one hundred kilometres.
Down the centre of the valley flows the Luangwa River, fed by dozens of tributaries. Many are dry for most of the year but in the rainy season become ranging torrents often causing the Luangwa to flood.
In South Luangwa the river forms a natural barrier between South Luangwa National Park and the Game Management Area to its East. The villagers within this area rely on subsistence farming but their fields and gardens are often raided by elephant and other game.
Within the area around Mfuwe are more than 20 Government and Community schools and Project Luangwa aims to support as many of these as it can.
Jo Pope is the founder and chairperson of the board at Project Luangwa. She has been the driving force in creating and running the charity since it's inception.
Jo is married to Robin Pope and together they operated Robin Pope safaris for many years until they stepped back from the business. They now live in Lusaka but visit their beloved South Luangwa valley frequently.
Project Luangwa CEO
After first visiting the Valley in 2015, Ian and his wife, Ruth, fell in love the people and wildlife of this fantastic place.
After frequent trips over the years, Ian was delighted to take over as the new CEO in 2020, bringing his energy, enthusiasm and experience to this great project!
Head of Operations and Gender Support
Fwilane is a social worker with over five years of experience working with the people in Mfuwe under Project Luangwa. Her passion for the community has seen her expand the Gender Program and impact the lives of over 5000 girls and boys in the valley.
Known locally and internationally as a menstrual hero, she spends her time creating an inclusive environment where both boys and girls are valued.
Mable is a teacher by trade with over 8 years’ experience. She has worked in different areas within the education sector as well as in non-governmental organisations and is passionate about equal education opportunities for less privileged children who drop out of school.
Mable, who has never lived in a rural setting before moving to South Luangwa, was enchanted by the stunning wildlife and friendly people, quickly settling in and even beginning to learn the local language. She incorporates her skills and passion to help the young people in the valley believe in themselves and achieve their educational goals through sponsorship.
Karen Beattie & Dave Hopson
As the directors for the first 10 years of Project Luangwa's existence, Karen and Dave used their passion for the communities of South Luangwa to create a truly unique organization. They are the originators of the sponsorship program, the Ufulu pads project, and the store and cafe.
Karen and Dave dedicated 10 years of their lives to working alongside the community, building infrastructure for schools, helping to dig wells, and supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Project Luangwa is eternally grateful for their dedication and vision.