There are more than a million orphaned children in Zambia - 1 in 10 people! How would a wealthy country like ours cope with this size of problem? How would you as a child have coped alone in the world? If they survive, what kind of adults will they become? They need food, shelter, education and training. But also someone to love them, someone who cares if they live or die. With our partners, we are trying to help some of these very needy youngsters at Kaliyangile in the small town of Chisamba.
African families have always been good at absorbing orphaned children. But with the huge numbers of adults dying of HIV the strains on those remaining have become intolerable. The risk is that these children fall to the bottom of the pile - in danger of neglect, malnutrition, abuse, dying very young or moving to live rough, glue-sniffing on the streets. They need to be helped as early as possible, valued and cared for, given support, schooling and training to break the downward spiral of poverty
Needy children are identified in the local rural community. Teenage girls and boys come for training in agriculture and their choice of carpentry and tailoring. The centre also offers some basic catch-up literacy and numeracy, along with health education and one meal per day. The training is to a recognised government standard offering a final certificate and they aim to give successful students some tools as a reward at the end. We also want to provide a sheltered workshop for new graduates.
The aim is to lift the self-esteem of these young people by giving them training which offers hope, allows them to hold their head high and provide for themselves and their families into the future. This has the potential to break the cycle of poverty.
HANDS AROUND THE WORLD website
Chris Barrell's Blog from Zambia