Since our inception in 2000, ZOA-US has assisted 35 projects and more than 10,000 children in seven of the nine Zambian provinces. Presently, we are focused on five projects to help them grow and move toward self-sufficiency and sustainability.
Located in Lusaka, Lusaka Province, Mulele Mwana ("Look after the Child") was established to provide technical, vocational and entrepreneurship skills to adolescents and young adults who are either orphaned or very poor. Many are heads of households. In 2002, ZOA-US entered into partnership with the Centre. To date, we have assisted approximately 200 youths to attain tailoring and catering skills. We have also provided revolving funds for seed capital for small business tailoring start-ups. Since 2005, ZOA-US has also supported the Centre's community school feeding program.
St. Anthony Children's Village, Ndola, located in Copperbelt Province, is run by the Dominican sisters and opened its doors to mainly HIV infected children in May, 2003. The Village provides both physical and emotional support to approximately 100 orphaned children in a family setting. Over time the Village has increased the number of other vulnerable children it accepts, including those abandoned by families, and mentally and physically challenged children, most of whom suffer from cerebral palsy. Since 2003, ZOA-US has provided funding for nutrition and health needs, including HIV testing and anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). Since 2004, St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia has provided to ZOA-US the funds needed to support St. Anthony.
Run by the little Servants of Mary Immaculate Sisters, the school, situated in Kabwe, Central Province, serves nearly 2,000 girls in the low-income township of Kabwe. Approximately 400 of them are orphans. ZOA-US first supported the school in 2008 with funds for an income-generating poultry project. In the following, year, we expanded assistance to the school's feeding program for orphaned girls. Since then, ZOA-US has helped with funding for a farming initiative on campus. In 2010, ZOA-US provided support for tuition, school supplies and fees for 5 girls at the high school level and for 5 Angelina Tembo graduates at University. Four of the 5 university students have graduated and been assigned to teaching positions throughout Zambia.
Taonga Community Home Based Care Project (CHBC), located in Kabwe, Central Province, runs HIV awareness and AIDS management programs, and trains community caregivers in basic home nursing and counseling skills. They provide additional training for psychosocial support for children and offer home-based care for HIV and AIDS patients and other vulnerable people, including the elderly and widows/widowers who have no reliable support. Child-headed households, or orphans living with relatives who are too poor to send the children to school, receive special attention. With many of its members being treated with anti-retroviral medications (ARVs), the organization helps train the patients to manage the disease more effectively. Taonga CHBC is an all-volunteer run organization, drawing care-givers from within the community.
The Cardinal Mazombwe Agricultural and Life Skills Centre is in Mphanshya, a rural area 150 kilometers from Lusaka in Rufunsa District. The farm allows 40 young adults, ranging in age from 10 to 21, to grow crops like maize, cassava and vegetables for their own consumption, and to raise funds to put themselves through school. It recently added poultry production and built a new 12-pen pigsty to raise pigs with funds from ZOA-US in order to generate money all year round. Since 2002, more than 100 orphans have benefited from working on the farm by learning basic farming skills and thereby paying for school to become nurses, teachers, electricians, secretaries, business administrators, and priests. Several of the present residents are students at nearby St. Luke’s Nursing School.
In 2005, local volunteers formed Rise Community Aid Programme (RICAP) to provide palliative care to people with AIDS and support to the rapidly rising number of local AIDS orphans. ZOA pays annual school fees for 83 orphans identified by RICAP. ZOA also fund RICAP’s feeding programme for 20 malnourished, HIV-positive children under five years old. Most are single-orphans whose mothers are HIV positive. Around 50 cents per day supplies high-energy, nutritious food. Their guardians receive expert nutritional advice have been given a vegetable plot where they learn gardening skills, and can take produce home to eat and sell. ZOA recently seed-funded RICAP’s income generating metal-working business to help secure their valuable programmes for the future. They have a steady stream of clients.