Helping the poor
Visiting Zambia, especially the rural agricultural areas and the towns, many visitors are struck by the poverty and wish to help. Giving to beggars and those in need on the street is one way. It will alleviate your feelings of guilt, and perhaps some of the immediate suffering, but it is not a long-term solution.
There are ways in which you can make a positive contribution, but they require more effort than throwing a few coins to someone on the street. My favourites is the ZOCS project which provides a basic education to young Zambians who could not otherwise afford school at all. Education is vital for Zambia's future, while in the present it gives children some hope. Deaths from AIDS have left increasing numbers of orphans, many of whom end up on the streets. This project is making a difference on a local level, helping communities to organise their own schools.
There are many other charities equally worthy of your help, trying to provide sustainable solutions at a local level. Some are part of Chin – a network of non-governmental organisations, community-based groups, and government departments working with children in need. Their website is www.chin.org.zm, and it will give you some idea of the scale of the help required. All welcome donations – so make a resolution now to help at least one of them as an integral part of the cost of your trip.
Local charities working in Zambia
Your best source of up-to date local info is probably www.chin.org.zm, but three organisations are worthy of special mention:Habitat for Humanity
1st Floor Impala House, Cha Cha Cha Road, Private Bag 461X, Ridgeway, Lusaka; tel: 01 232249; fax: 01 232250; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a non-profit, Christian NGO trying to solve the housing problems of the poor. Since 1984 they have built over 940 houses in different projects throughout the country. Families pay back the loan over a period of ten years into a revolving fund, enabling more houses to be built in the same community. Volunteers provide most of the labour. Zambia National Association for the Physically Handicapped (ZNAPH)
Po Box 72908, Ndola. Based on Buteko Avenue in Ndola, ZNAPH runs a carpentry workshop for physically handicapped people. It trains them to be carpenters and to produce furniture that is sold to raise funds for the workshop.Zambili d'Afrique
PO Box 38540, Lusaka; tel: 01 231307/237745; fax: 01 229691; email: email@example.com. This is an NGO working with Traidcraft Exchange, a UK-based organisation which promotes ethical and effective business in support of fair trade. Zambili helps small and medium-sized businesses to start exporting their goods.