SOS Children in Zambia
The republic of Zambia is in south-central Africa. It was potentially one of the richest countries on the continent, but is now amongst the world's poorest. The average daily income is about 60p. Zambia gained independence from the UK in 1964, and subsequent socialist policies wreaked havoc on the economy. Today the economy has opened up and the government seems dedicated to tackling development issues; providing ARVs (anti retrovirals) to people with HIV / AIDS is a high priority. Zambia is a peaceful country, more stable than many of its neighbours, and its numerous ethnic groups live together in relative harmony.
There are an extremely high number of children in need in Zambia, either orphaned or neglected, due to the rural exodus in search of employment which is destroying the traditional concept of extended families or because of the AIDS epidemic. At least 50 per cent of Zambia's population are expected to die of HIV-related diseases in the next three years. Life expectancy is 32.5 years. Nearly 20% of all children have lost one or both parents.
The charity began its work in Zambia in 1999 when the first families moved into SOS Children’s Village Lusaka, situated about 4 miles from the city centre in a densely populated and very poor area. The 40-acre site was donated by the Zambian government. The 15 family houses have been built in groups of three in the local style, using red burnt clay bricks with green roof tiles, and are surrounded by eucalyptus trees. The grounds have been planted with ornamental trees, flowers and grass. As well as the family houses, there is a youth home and a nursery, which pre-school age children from the local community also attend and are given two meals a day, with priority given to children from the poorest families. A primary and secondary school for 1,000 children, and a medical centre, which caters for 20,000 patients a year, have since been added. We have also set up a ‘Family Strengthening Programme’ (FSP) , the main focus of which is a community outreach programme for 500 children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2004, the charity’s second SOS Children’s Village opened in Kitwe, the capital of the Copperbelt region in northern Zambia, an area with large migrant populations. The village has 16 family houses for 190 orphaned and abandoned children. There is also a nursery which focuses on children from the local community who have special needs and a primary school for 700 children. The FSP provides practical help and counselling to 1,500 children and their families in the local community affected by HIV / AIDS. The SOS Medical Centre treats patients from 18,000 families in the local community.
A third SOS Children’s Village in Livingstone, about 300 miles south of Lusaka and the nearest town to the world-famous Victoria Falls, opened in early October 2008. It has 15 family homes for 150 orphaned and abandoned children, alongside SOS nursery and primary schools. An FSP began in early 2008 and is already supporting over 300 children and 150 caregivers in some of Livingstone’s poorer districts.
In January 2009, construction will begin on a brand new SOS Children’s Village in Chipata, in the far east of the country near the Malawi and Mozambican borders. Over 70% of households in Chipata are caring for orphans, and in a large percentage of these already-struggling households, the main breadwinner is ill, often with HIV / AIDS. 150 children will find a caring home in the Children’s Village when it opens in June 2010. We will also construct a nursery school and a primary school for the local children, and the SOS children. An FSP will begin in mid-2009 and will support vulnerable families. In certain instances, some children from child-headed households will be supported on the FSP until the Children’s Village opens, when they will be offered a permanent home with us.
At present we support over 38,000 people in Zambia through 3 SOS Children’s Villages, 2 SOS Youth Homes, 3 SOS Nursery Schools, 3 SOS Schools, 1 SOS Vocational Training Centre, 3 SOS Family Strengthening Programmes and 2 SOS Medical Centres.
Aids Orphan Projects
SOS Children in Zambia
SOS Children's Villages of Zambia Trust, P.O. Box 37907, Lusaka, Zambia
Tel: +260/1/242 730 or +260/1/242 731
Fax: +260/1/242 732
Next Country: Zimbabwe