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Zambia, in southeastern Africa, is a large, sparsely populated country, with 66 percent of its citizens under the age of 25. The Zambian economy has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies for the past 10 years. Despite strong economic growth, widespread and extreme rural poverty and lack of jobs in Zambia remain significant problems, made worse by a high birth rate and a relatively high HIV and AIDS burden.

ChildFund has served children in Zambia since 1983. Help make a difference and sponsor a child in Zambia today.  

ChildFund Zambia helps children get a healthy start through regular community-awareness meetings that encourage women to start attending prenatal clinics upon discovering they are pregnant, and educate them about the value of delivering at health centers. ChildFund-trained community health workers also work with new mothers in an effort to reduce both morbidity and mortality rates for both mothers and infants. For under-5 children, growth monitoring activities, vitamin A supplementation, deworming and vaccinations are provided at both outreach points and static health stations. As most children in this age group are prone to malnutrition, which in turn reduces their energy and ability to learn, ChildFund ensures that all the Early Childhood Development centers offer programs aimed at teaching young Zambian mothers and caregivers parenting skills and how to prepare nutritious meals for young children using locally available ingredients.

ChildFund Zambia believes that education has a significant impact on the overall health as well as social and economic development, and that children need the skills acquired from school to survive in a competitive global economy. We support primary-school programs such as construction and rehabilitation of classroom infrastructure and teacher accommodation, to increase access to quality education in Zambia.

We also contribute toward continuous professional development for teachers through projects like the Active Teaching and Learning Approaches in Schools (ATLAS). This project has helped teachers improve their teaching abilities and to increase the use of active, participatory, child-friendly, research-based classroom practices, thus improving the quality, relevance and delivery of the curriculum. ChildFund Zambia also conducts child protection training to raise awareness of the importance of promoting children’s well-being. Some of the topics covered include signs of child abuse, common forms of child abuse, child protection issues, community response to child abuse, reporting and referral systems, community advocacy and resilience building, as well as the roles and responsibilities of child protection committees. All these elements work to improve the state of education in Zambia.

ChildFund Zambia works with youth to help them become responsible and productive young people who can contribute to the general socio-economic status of their communities and the country as a whole. Under the livelihood programs for out-of-school youth, we supported more than 1,000 youth with start-up packages to enable them to venture into businesses of their choice in vocations such as agriculture, tailoring, carpentry, metal fabrication, catering and hair dressing. Youth who receive start-up packages are also trained in relevant fields that include entrepreneurship development, record-keeping and life skills, and many are linked with mentors. And in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and with support from the MasterCard Foundation, ChildFund recently launched the Zambia Nurse and Life Skills Training Program, using e-learning as a methodology for training nurses and guaranteeing its trainees jobs in Zambia upon completion.

Extreme rural poverty is perhaps the greatest challenge facing Zambia today. A staggering 61 percent of Zambians live below the national poverty line, many in isolated rural areas. Poverty in Zambia causes a range of harmful social conditions, including low literacy rates, few employment opportunities and little access to good sanitation and healthcare, all of which keep people mired in poverty. In fact, more than one-third of Zambians don’t have access to clean water.

The country has a few highly urbanized areas, where about half of its citizens live. Zambia is a large exporter of copper, so strong national economic performance there masks the severity of poverty in Zambia. Despite being more developed than many sub-Saharan African nations, the country still experiences significant unemployment that leaves many families who live outside of these urban areas mired in poverty.

Zambia is a relatively peaceful country: It is not controlled by a dictator and has not seen much infighting in recent years. Due to its peaceful nature and lack of headlines, Zambia is often left out of conversations about poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite the nation’s status as a stable democratic republic, poverty levels in Zambia, especially in rural areas, are some of the highest among African nations. ChildFund’s efforts in Zambia focus on establishing Early Childhood Development centers to teach Zambian mothers and caregivers strong parenting skills needed to give their children the best start possible. We also advocate children’s rights and child protection.


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  • January 22, 2010

    6 years old

  • Zambia


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