Zambia

"By your giving you take it upon yourselves to make these youths into reponsible citizens of our community. To this we say a million thanks to WORKAID  . You are a pillar of strength not only to us and the youths but my community as a whole." so wrote Dr. Ralph Sebente, King World Missions, Lusaka, Zambia.

 

In Zambia, WORKAID is currently focused in the Archdiocese of Lusaka which takes in a large catchment area (475 x 250km).

 

The aim is always to support ‘vulnerable but viable’ projects such as care based organisations which spring up from grass roots to meet the needs of individuals in deprived communities. They include widows, orphans and victims of HIV/Aids and often there is no income or financial support.

 

The Naomi Fellowship is such an example where WORKAID has donated sewing and knitting machines to this group of 10 women who position themselves at various stands in the market where they both work and sell their goods. They share the machines and pool their income to provide education for their children.

 

There is also very little support for the stigmatised numbers of disabled who are dependent on helping themselves. The Zambia Association for Children with Disabilities (ZACD) is a fine example of what can be achieved with WORKAID support. This disabled group train disabled youngsters in carpentry metalwork & tailoring, to produce appliances for other disabled children with conditions such as Clubfoot, Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus. The intellectually disabled are another group that have been badly neglected. The Sani Foundation has begun to give them some hope and WORKAID will shortly be sending horticultural tools to their Sunshine Project to provide some of their requirements.

 

A new development for WORKAID came from the Zambian Government’s interest to link with our charity in 2 key areas - harnessing the potential of Zambia’s disaffected youth (approx. 80% of the population are young people), and introducing skills training for prisoners and ex-offenders with a view to reducing re-offending. WORKAID has responded to both, the latter through Zambia Prison Service.

 

The Government is currently building Youth Resource Centres (YRC’s) to provide training for the street children, the uneducated & those who have failed to complete their education. Their success is dependent on stakeholders such as WORKAID to contribute some of the necessary tools for training. Lusaka YRC and Chiyota YRC have currently received a quota of tools from WORKAID. Lusaka is the more established centre and is effectively seeing 600 youngsters qualifying per year; 50% gain employment and the rest are supported in setting up in business.

 

WORKAID's other role is in providing ‘start-up’ kits for the graduates of such centres so that they are able to establish their business. Although the preference is to support small groups or cooperatives where tools can be shared, occasionally there is value in supporting dynamic individuals such as Morris Siwakwi. He set up a tailoring business which is now flourishing and he is hoping to employ two more graduates so that he can expand. He writes,

 

Thank you WORKAID for your support. May our good Lord God continue to bless you in this noble cause you are doing, and may you continue to reach out even to other communities as you change lives, enabling many youths to be self-reliant.”

 

Our coordinator in Lusaka, Emmanuel Zulu, is hugely important in keeping WORKAID updated regarding worthy projects & providing feedback from existing ones. His awareness and appreciation of local issues is invaluable in helping WORKAID move on appropriately.

 

NB. All enquiries regarding support for Zambia-based projects should be sent to workaidzm@gmail.com

 

Also be aware that WORKAID no longer operates in the Copperbelt (see above).

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