Seeing projects first-hand is vital to what we do. Only by talking to beneficiaries and staff can we understand the difference we make and where we could do more.
Meet the real people who benefit from your support...
The Home of Hope centre, which is partly funded by The Zambia Society Trust, provides help and accommodation for up to 50 homeless boys in Misisi, Lusaka, who would otherwise be at risk of falling into a lifestyle of begging, crime, drugs and abuse.
Joseph arrived at the Home aged 13 in April 2013, having become homeless after running away from his family due to arguments in the household. Accepting the Home’s help meant he had food, shelter and the opportunity to continue his schooling, as well as play sports, basketball being his favourite. His ambitions are to continue his studies and perhaps one day train to become a pilot.
The feeding programme in Matero, Lusaka, provides meals for about 250 children who study at the nearby St Mary’s school. On most days between 110 and 150 hungry schoolchildren turn up for lunch, mostly orphans or children from the poorest families. Some children leave home very early in the morning as they have to walk for up to two hours in order to get to school. Some of them don’t have any breakfast and don’t bring any food with them for lunch.
Margaret, aged 14, lives far away from her school so needs to travel by bus for part of the journey and then walk the rest of the way because her mum can’t afford the whole bus fare. She rarely has breakfast and doesn’t bring a packed lunch to school, so lunch at the feeding programme is normally her first meal of the day. Bright, confident and articulate, she says her favourite subject at school is maths and would like to be a nurse when she grows up.
Feeding programmes like the one in Matero may give some children the only meal they will have in the day. We must ensure that children like Margaret get the proper meals and nutrition they need to do their best at school and have a chance of achieving their ambitions.
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On our every visit, we are astounded by the individuals who work tirelessly to give children the chances their parents never had. From teachers and medical workers to cooks and carers – their efforts make all the difference. What’s even more astounding is that many of them have endured and overcome the same hardships to get where they are today.
Peter is a volunteer teacher at the Kwasha Mukwenu (‘Help your neighbour’ in the Lunda language) community-based project in Matero, Lusaka, for children orphaned by AIDS. This project offers a full range of support including a feeding programme, funds to pay for school uniforms and materials and teaching classes. Peter, who is a double orphan, was himself helped by Kwasha Mukwenu through his own schooling. He now teaches maths there and aspires to go to teacher training college. Unfortunately he cannot afford the fees, so instead works as a volunteer teacher to give something back to the project that helped him and gain valuable experience.