President and Founder

Leandra Merz

Leandra chairs a board of diverse supporters who work to support the efforts of IIM International from Florida, USA. At the same time, another board has been formed on the ground in Chalata, Zambia consisting of community leaders, teachers, and trusted advisers who are able to coordinate the daily operations with our staff and follow the budget set out from America.

​"After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's in wildlife conservation, I decided to join the Peace Corps and use my education to help others.  In 2009 I was sent to a rural village in Zambia where I quickly fell in love with the country, culture and most importantly, the people.   

On a return trip in 2011, I was heart-broken when I learned that several of my students were unable to attend secondary school despite performing well on national qualifying exams.  Primary education is free in Zambia, but secondary school is relatively expensive.  Parents often struggle to be able to send even one student to secondary school, but orphans and the extreme poor have no hope of ever continuing their education beyond primary school.  I was inspired to create IIM International and allow these students to continue their education."

IIM International

ImitiIkula eMpanga

- a Bemba proverb meaning "small trees grow to become the forest"

Zambians use this proverb to emphasize the importance of educating

​the nation's youth as they are the leaders of tomorrow.