Sponsor a child in Zambia
In 2012, SOS Children opened a new Children's Village in Chipata, eastern Zambia, to care for some of the poorest children in the country. In a country where thousands of children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, our charity gives many a loving home and a happy childhood.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Zambia by sponsoring a child:
Poverty and low life expectancy
Growing inequality means that the more and more people inhabiting rural areas must live in poverty. Access to services like running water, housing and sanitation is limited. Food can be scarce at some times, despite the quantity of good farmland. Life expectancy in Zambia is only 55 years, about two decades lower than the global average. Prevalence of HIV/AIDS is amongst the highest in Africa and, coupled with inadequate medical care, poses a major health risk.
Children in Zambia
As many as 1.4 million children in Zambia have lost one or both parents. More than half of these have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Almost half a million Zambian women are HIV positive, meaning that prevention of mother-to-child transmission is vitally important in limiting the number of children born with the virus. Without necessary treatment, many children die before their second birthday.
Our charity work in Zambia
SOS Children has worked in Zambia since 1996, beginning work in the capital Lusaka. Since then, we have opened a further three Villages across the country. Our main focus is helping families affected by the nationwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Opened in October 2012, SOS Children’s new Village in Chipata, Zambia, is home to children left alone because of poverty and disease. Chipata is 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 with no one to care for them are gradually moving into their new homes in the Village. The Village also has an SOS Nursery for the local children, and the children living in the Village. An SOS Medical Centre will provide 10,000 children and families with the care they need, including HIV/AIDS medicines. A Mobile Medical Unit, launched in 2011, is providing health education and medical treatment to poor and isolated communities. In addition, our community Family Strengthening Programme is helping 600 children and their families in three of the poorest districts of Chipata.
Our Village in the capital city Lusaka opened in 1999. More than half of Lusaka's inhabitants live in poverty. Rising food prices make it difficult for impoverished families to feed young children, contributing to malnutrition and sometimes stunting. Widespread HIV/AIDS has devastating and far-reaching effects, with families struggling to meet children's basic needs.
In recent years, we have expanded our family support work to ensure as many children as possible are able to grow up at home with their parents. We help families develop their own income-generating initiatives, and provide counselling and psychological support to children and parents. We especially target families affected by HIV/AIDS. Our medical centre provides treatment for thousands of families every year.
Kitwe is located in Zambia's “copperbelt”, a region where huge wealth is still generated for those at the top of the economic ladder, despite dwindling supplies. Most of this wealth, however, fails to trickle down to those who need it most. Diminishing reserves means rising unemployment, rising poverty, and worsening living conditions.
Hardship is commonplace in Kitwe. Social centres ensure that children have access to medical care and preventative medication, and provide treatment and counselling for those affected by HIV/AIDS. We also offer education from nursery to secondary level to children from the local community as well as the Children's Village, ensuring that poverty is not a barrier to education.
Our Village in Livingstone opened in October 2008. The largest ethnic to inhabit the Zambezi region are the Tonga people, whose traditional lifestyle was disrupted in the 1950s with the building of the Kariba Dam Wall. Despite this upheaval, many traditional practices and beliefs were preserved, not all with positive consequences for families. Polygamy has led to the spread of HIV/AIDS, and traditional healing methods often lead to inadequate treatment for those infected.
As in our other Zambian Villages, our focus in Livingstone is family support. By providing practical support so that families can provide better and more sustainable care to children, we help parents tackle problems which might otherwise lead to child abandonment. Guidance on income generation equips families to stand on their own two feet, while healthcare and nutritional support ensure children are able to grow up healthy, protected against the many dangers which threaten people in this area.
Life in SOS Children's Villages Zambia: SOS Mother Margaret's Story
Margaret, an SOS mother at SOS Children’s Village Lusaka in Zambia, talks about some of the children she cares for:
“When we started, we experienced a number of things, for instance, the babies who arrived in very poor health - one week old Buleke came in a critical condition, he had to be rushed to the hospital as an emergency. He was admitted and miraculously pulled through. He is now a big boy aged four and in nursery school.
“Baby Charity was only three weeks old when she arrived. She, too, was in a poor, malnourished state with sores all over her body. She is now a bouncy and happy four-year-old enjoying nursery school. Then came Muchangwe at two weeks, who was also severely malnourished, dehydrated and suffered from boils all over her body. She is also four years old now.
“Every mother had a fair share of sleepless nights and anxiety over the children put in our care - however, we are thankful for … the wisdom, patience, understanding and courage … given to us so we can face up to these challenges. Being an SOS mother: it's a noble career, which we should be proud of.”
SOS Children's Village of Zambia Trust