Mar 19

Alison and Lizzie and when it all started

Every amazing adventure starts off as a simple dream.  Today I want to share with you a brief glimpse of where the concept of Our Rainbow House began.  This story is about Alison and Lizzie and when it all started.

For those of you who don't know, after visiting her son’s sponsor child in a village on the outskirts of Lusaka back in 2002 Alison Ray was left with an overwhelming drive to help the orphaned and vulnerable children. 

Then in 2006 Alison and Lizzie travelled to Zambia, up in the north country, in the Copper-belt, where together they worked in an orphanage for 19 children.  

Alison (top), and Lizzie back in 2006

Alison (top), and Lizzie back in 2006

They loved every minute of being there and have fond memories. Lizzie is now home from England for a break with her parents in Emerald, Yesterday she and Alison spent time catching up.

Alison said, "You sure develop a special friendship when you work in a tiny little three bedroom house, with no furniture and 19 children.  Later we went down to the village near Lusaka, where the School is now, to do some research on how we could help.

​Our friend who supplied mattresses to the 19 orphans back then is making scones for us for the Garden Party that is happening on 28 March.  Together we can really make a difference."

Alison and Lizzie catching up this week

Alison and Lizzie catching up this week

My friends often ask me; 'how did Our Rainbow House come about?'        The other questions people ask me; 'how did you get involved, and why?'

Nearly a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting Leane, one of our beautiful sponsors, at the christening of my adorable twin, God-children.  Leane shared photos and the story of Our Rainbow House.  I was moved and immediately I wanted to know more.

Several phone calls later, and a meeting in Sydney with Alison I asked how could I become a part Our Rainbow House.   

To Alison and Lizzie - thank you for researching the needs of the village that now is the home to Our Rainbow House school.    I can see by the smile on your faces that you had a fabulous catch up.

Who am I? I'm CaAtherine, the Web & Social Media Manager, and I'm just one of the many that helps make Our Rainbow House an amazing reality.   ​   It doesn't matter where you are in the world, you really can make a difference.  


Mar 17

Playing in the rain is fun

It doesn't matter where you live in the world, for a kid playing in the rain is fun.    

I think you will agree these photos reveal some happy children covered in mud and rain.  These photos make me smile.    It makes me want to run outside and start playing in the rain.  

Mar 03

Gaining support for the clean up

This is the final exert of Claire's journal where they are gaining support for the clean up.  It's a busy day that Claire shares, with uniforms being distributed to all the children,  

Friday, 6 February

Brian and Claire for a walk round the village with Lovely (Caregiver for Our Rainbow House) . Some of the guardians are very industrious – (particularly a couple of Lovely’s guardians) finding ways to earn money, and trying to improve their situation. Some keep their houses and surroundings very clean.

This man is a guardian grandfather to some of our children. He has a large family that live in various dwellings all on a plot of land that he owns – there could be 4-6 dwellings on 1 plot. The whole family operate an extensive business selling charcoal. They buy the big bags for 40 kwatcha and the women (of course) break them down into smaller bags, the smallest of which is 1 Kwatcha (20c)

On return, Brian and Claire handed out some of the uniforms to the children. All the boys received two pairs of shorts and two green T shirts. The older boys received an additional striped shirt. All the girls received one sport skirt (blue with green stripe) and two green T Shirts .  There are quite a few uniforms left over. Also 37 pairs of socks and approx. 50 jumpers/jackets that we did not give out.

Children go home early each Friday after lunch.

John has been out walking round the village again and talking to Frederick. Frederick tells us he has been gathering support for the public meeting for Saturday and that lots of community leaders are coming.    Cr Given included and a number of influential persons at Council and Government level. Frederick has asked the Chairman of the Ward Committee to chair the meeting, Potiphar Neoma.  The support for the clean up grows.

Some ladies have already started cleaning up – just need to motivate the men – strange that.

There is plenty of rubbish ---​

We noticed that OHS hasn't arrived in Zambia yet.

The Clean-up continues.  But we saw some houses and surroundings that are SO clean.

Thank you Claire for sharing your experience through words and photos.  The team at Our Rainbow House appreciate all that you, John and Brian did for the Village during your amazing stay.  

Feb 27

There is a Rotary visit and the clean up continues

There is a Rotary visit and the clean up continues in the Village.     We hope you enjoy the second part to Claire's report about her visit to Our Rainbow House school along with John and Brian.

Wednesday, 4 February​

John up early to go round the village with Frederick – announcing with the megaphone that the clean up is continuing; three hours later John returned after a very comprehensive session.  With Frederick injecting humour into the announcements the locals appeared to be listening, with some coming out of their houses to ask questions or clap.

This is what you can do with a car in the village when it is no longer of any use.

Brian and Claire spent the morning sorting uniforms that we bought over in our luggage. Claire prepared a typed up list of the numbers of uniforms for Katoba – now we wait till Katoba wants to hand them out.  

11am – Katoba, John, Brian and Claire leave Our Rainbow House to attend the Rotary Club of Maluba meeting.

Approx 20 members present. One new member was inducted. Guest speaker spoke about a Maths development program for children, based on the Chinese abacus.    

At the end of the meeting we had a chance to talk to the President Ignatious M Kayawe, and Praveen Kumar P Parmar . Ignatious says at the Club's next business meeting, that he intends to give the village some serious consideration.​

​Banners were exchanged between Clubs.

Thursday, 6 February

Claire spent the morning photographing the children for Alison. Brian went for a walk to the brick works to price some bricks for a possible toilet, while John went for a walk to see if he could find Changata to talk to him again – but he did not see him.

Nurse Carol visits Our Rainbow House school this morning – she comes to the school once a week and sees each of the children once a month, or more often if she feels they need it.

10.30 am  We leave to go to Lusaka to RC of Lusaka Central meeting – and to fix computers etc. This was a friendly and lively meeting. This is the club that sponsored the mealy meal  for a period.

They appeared very interested and asked lots of questions about the school, and the processes of how funding works for Our Rainbow House, and the process whereby which children come to our School. I thought they showed very positive interest. They are aware of the Clean Up project, and also aware of our project to repair some guardian homes.  They may come and offer some support.  A few members of this club, including the President, are going to come and visit our School on Saturday at 3:00 pm (oops sorry -1500 hours in Zam talk).

This is great news and great interest. Katoba says she will come in on Sat and she will ask a few of our students to come in.

Afternoon – Claire writing reports.

John has gone walking round the village again with Frederick and the megaphone.

John comes home 7pm and has had another successful “information dispersal” session with Frederick. When Alfred came on night duty – we had some discussions with him and we are very excited by what he told us. Some students at the University of Zambia have heard about the Clean Up project and they have contacted Alfred.

NEXT Tuesday we will share the last of Claire's journal and experience.

Feb 24

Rotary Members Clean Up

The streets and house surrounds are looking amazing as the Rotary members clean up.    The Rotary Club of Toowoomba Garden City Members are doing mammoth work in our village and at our School. 

Thank you John, Claire and Brian for all of your dedication and hard work. You have been an absolute pleasure to work with from afar and we cannot thank you enough for all the different aspects of our Projects that you have attended to. It is so wonderful for the people of the village to live in hygienic and tidy surroundings again.

We cannot believe the bags and bags or rubbish that have been collected and taken to the dump. Thank you so much Rotary members  for being part of an important clean up.

As part of their experience Claire has provided us with a mini journal report.  We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed receiving it.

Over the next few days we will share with you some of the amazing experience had by Claire, John and Brian.

Tuesday, 3 February​

Claire unwell with tummy bug today – quiet day.

Frederick and Potiphar Neoma (an elder in the community) and chairman of WDC (Ward District Committee) at the school to talk to John .   A Ward is similar to our local council area. 

John to meet Frederick at the front of the school at 6am tomorrow to commence the walk round the village with the megaphone to announce the Clean Up. Claire will prepare a flyer for the clean up to put on a few power poles etc. in the village and close to the markets.


2pm. – Brian and Christabel (OurRainbow House Caregiver) went for a walk round the village to look at the houses that Christabel looks after.

These are some examples of the houses our children live in.

John and Brian went for a walk up to the Health Clinic. Spoke to Changata (a volunteer for the Health Department and respected elder) at the front of the Health Clinic.

After 3 nights of cold showers and then 2 nights of showers too hot to get under, and not able to be adjusted --- we have finally perfected the ORH HWS and had beautiful showers that we could regulate.



Feb 02

The 2015 AGM

The 2015 AGM was held last Thursday, 29 January 2015.


What a wonderful roll-up of enthusiastic people we had at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) .  We are delighted to welcome our new Team along with our “old” members from last year.  2014 saw us move ahead in leaps and bounds with such an extraordinary Board.



A few photos capturing moments from the 2015 AGM


With many new faces joining the team we can guarantee that 2015 will be a year filled with energy, enthusiasm, and generousity.

Before ending their term, the 2014 team ensured we locked in social fundraising events to start the year.


These include:

  • Charlie and Kaye’s Cocktail Party on the 7th March,
  • The Garden Party on the 28th March,
  • Scott Hale’s Mach Picchu Trek in May,
  • Matt from Tourica Tours plans, the 5th Annual Bike Day in August/September,
  • and our Melbourne Cup Luncheon in November to name a few.


We are looking forward to the New Year and with our Rotary Toowoomba Garden City Members on the ground there at present, we can envisage some wonderful plans ahead for Our Rainbow House School.


Even if you don’t live in Emerald, or Zambia there are many ways you can get involved.

To find out how simply email our Australian Office:



More moments from our 2015 AGM


Jan 28

Off to work on the “Clean Up” Programme

Our School is getting ready for the arrival of some amazing volunteers  off to work on the “Clean Up” Programme.



The students and staff are looking forward to meeting volunteers Brian, Claire, and John, from the Rotary Club of Toowoomba Garden City.
While John, Brian and Claire are visiting Our Rainbow House School they will be helping with the repair of Guardians’ homes, implementing a program to clean up the village and assisting at the School.    Claire will also be working in the office to assist Katoba. As well as helping the Guardians and doing anything they can to help the school community, while there the team will also be assessing future support projects.

The team will arrive in Zambia on 30th January, and will be there till the end of February.  The list of tasks for the volunteers is long, but they are confident they will be able to tick many of them off the list.


We are so grateful to them for all their hard-work, time, energy and talents that they have put into our Clean Up Programme, and we look forward to their visit to our School.





Volunteer Claire Jan 2015Volunteer Brian Jan 2015

Jan 28

Our first fundraiser for the year

We are excited; it’s our first fundraiser for the year.


Our first fundraiser for 2015 is to be a Cocktail Party hosted by Charlie and Kaye Wilson at their home in Emu Park.
Grammar Global are proud to support this fabulous event and sponsor our Project Supervisor, Katoba, at our School in Zambia.     Funds raised at this event will go towards the sponsorship. 

Thank you Kaye and Charlie for opening your beautiful home and garden for Our Rainbow House.

Guest numbers are limited so be sure to get your tickets early as it promises to be a wonderful occasion.


We look forward to seeing you at our first fundraiser for the year.



Jan 21

Let’s all ride a bike in Zambia

Yes, let’s do it!  Let’s all ride a bike in Zambia.   Not only will you get to see the amazing country side, but you will visit the amazing Our Rainbow House school.


The deadline for expressions of interest for this event  is fast approaching.  If you would love to be part of this amazing fundraising event simply email:

Alison Ray, Director of Our Rainbow House –


Matt Collins from Tourica Tours – no later than 31 January 2015.

Cycle Zambia Header

How amazing would it be if bike riders throughout Australia and indeed the World, could unite to help us fulfill this vision of fulfilling our goal to expand our school.  This would give us the opportunity to increase our student numbers.



This challenge takes place in south-eastern Zambia finishing at the Victoria Falls.


 Cycling in breath-taking scenery

 Passing through rural Zambian villages

 Meeting the ‘friendliest people in Africa’

 Finishing at the mighty Victoria Falls

our rainbow house
Landlocked in Southern Africa Zambia is fed and shaped by its rivers, lakes and of course, its waterfalls, the most famous of which is the Victoria Falls which at 2kms wide and 103 meters deep are the largest falls in the world. Massive lakes, rich wetlands and breathtaking African sunsets all contribute to the country’s scenic splendor. In addition to its natural wonders Zambia offers a taste of its diverse tribal and cultural heritage through its craftwork, music, dance and traditional ceremonies.

Don’t wait a moment longer – contact either Alison or Matt today.  Lock in your place and let’s all ride a bike in Zambia


our rainbow house


Jan 05

The new school year

The Staff all commence duties today in preparation for the new school year.

The students come back on the 12th. We wish all our Staff and Sponsors, a very happy new year and look forward to working with you all in the year to come, to educate our 50 students.



Thank you everyone for helping us to achieve this.


Once our wonderful children have returned to school we will share with you all their adventures and successes.


In the meantime you can read our monthly newsletters for the latest news, events and fundraising activities while we all get ready for the new school year.


Dec 31

A Very Happy and Healthy 2015

From Everyone at Our Rainbow House, we wish you a very Happy and Healthy 2015.




May it be filled with all the things you love with many happy times.

Thank you for your support in the past year – you most certainly have made a difference and helped to make dreams come true for 50 little children.

We thank you sincerely for that.


Here’s to a very happy and healthy 2015 to one and all.



Dec 22

Machu Picchu comes to Our Rainbow House

Machu Picchu comes to Our Rainbow House!  We are truly blessed to have inspirational young people who follow our charity. Our Rainbow House is proud to introduce Scott Hale who would like to trek in Peru next year to raise funds for our charity.


If you are looking for something meaningful to give your family or friends at this special time of the year, maybe you would like to donate to this cause to help with the ongoing education of the orphans and vulnerable students at our school.


Scott says:

“Bucket lists come in all shapes and sizes but on top of a lot of bucket lists is to visit the amazing and ancient city of Machu Picchu. My partner, Kelly, has seen many different places around the world but the top of her list is the ancient Incan city so with myself and our friend Scott in Perth, we decided to go.

But this is a trip with a difference. We have organised our trip through HUMA Charity Challenge. HUMA is part of the World Expeditions Group, combining travelling with fundraising. We decided that we would each pick a charity that is close to our hearts and raise money for our trek. My partner Kelly lost a close friend to ovarian cancer a few years ago, whilst my friend Scott lost his father to melanoma.

I decided to pick a charity organised by a very close family friend to help kids in Lusaka, Zambia receive an education, Our Rainbow House! I have known Alison my whole life as Alison and my mother went to school together and have remained life-long friends. This was the charity that I want to get involved with and my aim is to raise over $3000.  If you could please help in any way possible that would be fantastic. We head to Peru in May so I’m hoping to raise as much as I can in that time. Thanks again”


To donate to Scott’s challenge in aid of Our Rainbow House, please go to his fundraising MY CAUSE page.


Thank you Scott. I can vouch for the beauty of Peru and in particular Machu Picchu.

Pam – Our Newsletter Editor


Here are some photos of what Scott can expect on his Inca Trail tour.

Director Alison, Our Rainbow House bank manager Greg, myself and others toured there several years ago and did not want to leave.


Dec 12

End of Year School Excursion

Many of us love a picnic.  Can you imagine how excited our students were preparing for their end of year school excursion.


This much anticipated event was a fantastic day out.


Our students, dressed in their  special “excursion” shirts kindly donated by Rebecca Walsh from Melbourne Convention Bureau, did not waste a moment to become involved in everything that was on offer.
Great activities and delicious food were the theme of the day and lived up to all expectations.


Our students and adults were transported by bus to the excursion park.  This in itself was  a cause for great excitement but to then arrive at the park for a visual feast of wonderful  activities filled our students with delight. It was a great moment during a great day.


Only a minority of our students are able to swim.  It was wonderful getting reports that some of the older students are able to spend time in a swimming pool, splashing around.


I think you will agree that the end of year school excursion certainly looks like fun.



Nov 21

Matt is visiting our School

We are so excited to report that Matt Collins from Tourica Tours is visiting our School tomorrow on his way to the airport to return to Australia.


Matt has been in Zambia on a Tiger fishing expedition up the Zambezi. Although it is a Saturday Katoba has organized for some of the Staff and Students to attend the School. She will show Matt around as well as visiting the clinic and the markets with him.


Below is a photo of Matt Collins with Catherine Hamilton, and Alison Ray, taken during Alison’s recent visit to Melbourne.


Our Rainbow House

This will be a good introduction to our School. Matt will come home more enlightened about our Project.  We all hope that Matt thoroughly enjoys visiting our School.


Best wishes to Matt, Katoba, Diane, Staff and Students for a happy day together tomorrow.

cycle zambia

We wish you safe travels home Matt.


Cycle Zambia Header

Nov 17

Let’s Build a School

Since opening Our Rainbow House school in May 2012 it has been a dream to build a school to educate more children.  We are excited that we are going to make 2015 all about turning this dream into a reality;


Let’s build a school in Zambia.


Cycle Zambia Header


The current building is owned by the Lusaka City Council, with a second classroom constructed from a modified shipping container.  Imagine how much more could be offered when we build our own school.


The answer is plenty!  It would allow our project to provide education to more children, and to do so in an improved learning environment.  To do this we need to purchase land, and build our school while keeping our existing building as our Kindergarten and Pre-School.




To spearhead the campaign we are teaming up with Matt from Tourica Tours for the CYCLE ZAMBIA event in July 2015.


In the November newsletter you can read how Matt fell in love with Africa and turned that passion into his business.


Help us BUILD A SCHOOL IN ZAMBIA!  You can discover how to register for the ride by visiting CYCLE ZAMBIA.



Nov 11

Melbourne Cup for charity

It is called the ‘race that stops a nation’, but we like to think of it as ‘the Melbourne Cup for charity’.    The Melbourne Cup Luncheon for Our Rainbow House was held again this year at the Emerald Homestay.

our rainbow house1534751_838645389520335_4645978633502507245_o

The afternoon was filled with colour, hats, and lots of laughter.  Without a doubt a wonderful afternoon with friends.

melbourne cup charity

The event wouldn’t have been possible without all the generous volunteers who helped behind the scenes, setting up the tables, and all the food preparation.

Our Rainbow Houseour rainbow house

A particularly  BIG thank you to Emerald State High School Hospitality Class who did an amazing job – you all have a bright future ahead of you!

melbourne cup for charity

Thank you to all who helped out, you helped make it a fabulous day for Our Rainbow House. We couldn’t have done it without you.

melbourne cup charityour rainbow houseour rainbow house


our rainbow houseour rainbow house

Oct 17

Celebrating Melbourne visit plus more

We have so much to share with you. This post sees us celebrating Alison’s Melbourne visit, the upcoming Melbourne Cup Luncheon, and introducing the exciting Cycle Zambia event.


Alison has recently spent a week in Melbourne presenting to the Rotary Clubs of Dandenong, Emerald, Ringwood and Wandin.

Whilst in Melbourne she caught up with Catherine Hamilton, an artist form the Mornington Peninsula. Catherine volunteered for our School on March/April this year and will return for the second term in 2015. Catherine introduced the Art Program to our School together with art requisites kindly donated by Art Spectrum, Melbourne.



CaAtherine Meredith, our website manager, met with Alison to discuss the way forward with our new website.

our rainbow house

Alison visited Dandenong Rotary Club, VIC to present Our Rainbow House

our rainbow house

Alison was invited for supper at the home of supporters of Leprosy Mission India, and also met International China Concern representatives along with members of Rotary Wheelchairs for Kids

our rainbow house

Alison speaking at the Rotary Club of Emerald VIC

our rainbow house

Rotary Club of Ringwood



our rainbow house

Alison with Catherine Hamilton (artist, Redhill) and Matt (Tourica Tours

our rainbow house

Members of the Rotary Club of Wandin





Matt Collins from Tourica Tours attended the Wandin meeting to meet Alison and learn about the School. Matt is planning Cycle Zambia, a bike ride throughout this beautiful country in aid of Our Rainbow House, to be held mid-2015. What a wonderful and inspiring week this was for our Project!

our rainbow house


Each year Our Rainbow House hosts a Melbourne Cup luncheon for 40-60 guests at Emerald Homestay. This year it will be a French theme and we invite everybody to come along and have a wonderful day of friendship, fun and laughter.

Melbourne Cup 2014 flier

If you do not live in Emerald and would like to hold your own Melbourne Cup Luncheon in aid of our Charity that would be fantastic! We would need a little story about this together with photos of the day for our newsletter, website and Facebook.


Cycle_Zambia July 2015

Aug 18

Calling all Treadlies to tackle Tyson 2014

CALLING ALL TREADLIES to tackle Tyson 2014!    SUNDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2014


The Annual “Our Rainbow House” Charity Bike ride is fast approaching, and this year, riders are Tackling the Wills/Tyson Roads.  


This bike day caters to all cyclist levels. Whether you’re a mad keen cyclist, a Sunday cool rider or a midweek cruiser, come along and kick start your sensational summer!


Some of the amazing riders from 2013

Some of the amazing riders from 2013



50 km or 100km Adult Bike Ride 10km Adult & Children Fun Ride or Don’t Stop Movin’ Fitness Challenge.

Tthe  convenors of the bike day;  and Fiona: are and are working hard to ensure a wonderful day both financially and socially.

As you are probably aware, this is one of the major fund raisers for the year and we rely on generous support from our members and friends to guarantee its’ success. There is a job for everyone so please contact Krissi or Fiona to chat about how you can help.
There is much to be done in the days leading to the race, and as sign on begins at 7.00am; help will be required early on race day and will continue to be required through the day.
Should you wish to participate in the bike ride, you can register online 


Riders are encouraged to seek sponsorship from the community.                     All proceeds go to Our Rainbow House – educating 44 children in the Zambian village of Chainda.


Remember to LIKE the Treadles Tackle Tyson Facebook page


We encourage you to get your family, friends, classmates, workmates and neighbours to sponsor you for taking part in this day. 

Prizes will be awarded to the Highest Adult & Child Fundraiser on the day. 

Jul 09

The excitement of Sports Day is alive in Chainda


It seems the excitement of the school sports day is universal.


Do you remember your sports day?  Proudly lining up with the other kids in your school colours, ready to run your race, and praying you don’t fall over before the finish line?


On Friday, 4 July the wonderful children from Our Rainbow House had a most fantastic time at their Sports Day competing with Chainda Christian Academy.


You could feel the excitement building as the children poured in through the gates, filling their water bottles in preparation.

 All the children gave it their best and did our little school proud.  They had lots of fun participating in the water race, bean bag, sack and egg race during the event.  


We wanted to share a few photos of the day with you all.

chainda sports day


chainda sports day



chainda sports day


Jun 01

In action at the Rotary International Conference

Alison is leading a team of wonderful volunteers at the Rotary International Conference, at Sydney Olympic Park.


If you are one of the generous Rotarians attending the conference drop by the Our Rainbow House stall (booth 294) and chat with one of the team.





You can meet with the wonderful Nicole who spent 15 months volunteering  at Our Rainbow House, Chainda, Zambia.  Nicole has brought back some amazing pictures drawn by some of the children.

It is hard not be moved by the first hand stories of how the generous work and support is making a difference to so many lives.


If you are unable to come and chat with us face-to-face to ask how you can donate or sponsor one of children or teachers you can email us direct at


Here are a few action shots from yesterday’s event.

our rainbow house

CaAtherine, (Debbie’s husband) Terry Daly from RAWCS, Tracey, and Owen



our rainbow house

Tracey with the wonderful Alison

May 23

Welcome to Our Rainbow House


Welcome to the new web site for Our Rainbow House!

Meet our Founder Alison Ray, from Emerald QLD, who visited the village of Chainda in 2002 and felt a very strong  calling to help this  impoverished community. Alison feels she is very blessed to have such a strong group of  volunteers who support this charity tirelessly.

our rainbow house

Alison with two of the amazing teachers


“In 2002, I was privileged to work in a School in its infancy, in Tanzania.  Zambia is not too far away, just a short flight, so I thought I would drop by to meet our son’s sponsor child on the way back to Australia.

Felix lived in a village called Chainda where, in those days, there were 30,000 people including 2,500 orphans and vulnerable children living on 5 hectares.

From the moment I stepped out of the vehicle in Chainda, I just knew that was where God and the Angels wanted me to work.  It was an overwhelming feeling.

There is a long story in between then and May, 2012 when we opened our School.  I do hope to update it soon.

I am blessed with an amazing group of people who have followed me on this path.  It would have been impossible on my own, but together we are making a difference in Chainda.  Today, there are 26,000 people including 7,800 orphans and vulnerable children.  We are educating just 45!

I love our Project and it is so good to be guided to help these people in Chainda and have such fantastic friends and family that support me in making this Charity work”.

Alison J Ray

Director: Our Rainbow House


Alison and Vasumathi

Alison with Vasumathi, one of the Advisory Council Members



Older posts «