Zambia Orphans Aid (ZOA) was initially formed by concerned Zambians in the USA with the support of American and other African friends in response to the crisis of orphans in the country. It was registered as a private voluntary organization in Washington DC in August 2000. In 2003, ZOA was regisitered as an NGO in Zambia, and subsequently, as a Charity in the UK in 2006.
ZOA assists institutions and community organizations in Zambia that care for the nearly 1 million orphans and other vulnerable children. Since its inception in 2000, ZOA has supported 47 projects. ZOA-US has assisted 30 of these, including four that have been jointly helped with ZOA-UK. More than 15,000 children and young adults have been reached by the organization. The Zambia-based team (ZOA-Z) identifies and submits potential projects to ZOA-US and ZOA-UK for funding consideration. We carefully select the projects we support to ensure accountability and effective use of the resources provided, and regularly monitor and evaluate the supported projects . ZOA believes in empowering institutions and organizations to eventually become strong enough to work on their own.
Zambia, Orphans and Education
Zambia is a land-locked country in Southern Africa. One of the poorest countries in the world, 2/3 of its population survive on $1 a day. Half the population are under 18, and an overwhelming 1.4 million are orphans.
Many orphaned Zambian children live with impoverished grandparents or older siblings, for whom the cost of compulsory uniforms, stationery and school fees are prohibitive. Consequently, many children have to drop out of school.
Children without access to education are trapped in a terrible cycle of poverty and orphaned children are highly vulnerable to child labor and abuse.
Zambia's Potential for Development
Unlike its neighbors, Zambia has a stable, democratic government. It is also fertile and rich in natural resources and its economy is growing at 6% a year. However, this is not trickling down and the gap between rich and poor is growing. Meanwhile, Zambia’s booming mining and other industries complain of a lack of educated, local staff. Zambia also has a desperate shortage of teachers, health professionals and civil servants, professions key to any country’s development. Education can bridge this gap and create a better future for these orphans, their extended families, and Zambia.
ZOA-Z and ZOA-UK
We are able to locate, support and monitor well-run grassroots community groups and schools because we have a sister charity working on the ground based in Lusaka ZOA Zambia (ZOA-Z). ZOA Zambia is responsible for the initial assessment of projects and recommendations for funding, plus ongoing reporting and evaluation. The close relationship between ZOA-US and ZOA-Z not only allows for good governance, but is crucial to enable the disbursement of funds in the most effective way possible.
ZOA is also active in the United Kingdom. Our sister charity, ZOA-UK, raises funds to support a different portfolio of projects, and works in a similar way to ZOA-US.