ZOA joins the rest of Zambia in mourning Professor Father Michael Kelly, ZOA-Zambia’s Patron until he passed away at the age of 91. Father Kelly was one of our founder members and chaired the organisation in Zambia.
ZOA’s focus on supporting orphans and vulnerable children through education was an area close to Father Kelly’s heart. His work with HIV/AIDS and the most vulnerable spanned across big organisations, government and grassroots organisations. He created time to teach, advise and encourage in order to alleviate ignorance and poverty.
Father Kelly was known as ‘the father of education’ in Zambia and also a trailblazer for promoting girls’ education when it wasn’t so common to give girls the same opportunity as boys in school. He saw how girls were left behind and was determined to help them reach their potential. We know that girls who’re educated are less likely to contract STIs or HIV/AIDS, tend to marry later, have smaller, healthier families and are more likely to ensure their own children are educated.
ZOA continues to level the playing field for girls’s education, whether by running workshops for girls and boys, volunteers, parents, guardians and teachers to overturn the stigma of periods and menstruation and bust superstitions or by supporting infrastructure projects that give pupils with disabilities, girls and vulnerable children equal access to school and learning as any other child.
We offer our condolences to his family and friends as we mourn the loss of an inspirational man.