Our focus is on education for Zambia’s most vulnerable children as we know that every year of education increases earning potential by 10%. But when a disaster strikes that impacts the communities we work with, whether a failed harvest from drought or flooding, or a global pandemic like coronavirus, we will support our partners to respond.
We’re responding to the developing COVID-19 situation in Zambia through our community partners to support the most vulnerable children.
Orphans and vulnerable children struggled to meet their basic needs before the pandemic hit. Now communities who are already suffering from poverty and food insecurity and still recovering from last year’s drought are more vulnerable to COVID-19 as well as being hit hard by lockdown measures.
Many of the orphans and vulnerable children we support received a free daily nutritious meal or food supplements through their school or our partners. With schools closed, or only open to a few year groups, many children won’t have enough to eat.
Many households have very limited access to soap and hand sanitiser making good hygiene practices more challenging and increasing the likelihood of contracting and passing on COVID-19.
Parts of Zambia were already badly affected by drought in 2019, with 2.4 million people suffering food insecurity by early 2020. This year many areas in Southern Province are expecting a poor harvest for the second year in a row. Because of food shortages the price of staple foods such as maize, rice and wheat have increased leaving many people unable to afford the basics.
We are distributing emergency food and soap to orphans and vulnerable children and their households. We’re also delivering key health messages to STOP THE SPREAD of COVID-19 and providing hand washing stations.
In 2019, parts of Zambia faced the worst drought in ten years, with the numbers of people experiencing severe food shortages by March 2020 estimated to be 2.4 million. We provided emergency food packages containing beans, maize and high energy protein supplements, benefitting 1302 people.
Many areas also experienced a poor harvest in 2020 so we’re allocating funds for sustainable food production in the affected communities.
COVID-19 emergency packages
£2 can provide a child and their family with 2 bars of soap.
£20 can provide an emergency food parcel for a child to share with their family for a month.
£80 can provide a hand washing station for thousands of people.
£66 can pay for a frontline worker to provide key ‘STOP THE SPREAD’ messages to hundreds of people.
Providing emergency food parcels as part of our COVID-19 response
Diana, 13 years old
“I’m not happy because school closed early this term due to COVID-19. At school we used to eat every day, now I’ll not be able to eat three meals a day as my mother isn’t working.
The prices of food and other commodities have gone up so my mother isn’t able to buy food. Even soap is a problem.
I’m HIV positive and am on drugs so I need more food to eat so the drugs don’t have side effects. I’m happy I received food and soap during this pandemic. Thank you very much for the support I really appreciate it.”
Making sure no child is distracted by hunger
Loveness, 84 years and her granddaughter, Sheila, 13 years
“When the rains failed I had difficulty feeding my family. We didn’t harvest anything at all. The maize dried up before maturity.
We ate once a day but at times we didn’t eat. I sell herbs and munkoyo [mildly fermented drink made from maize and roots] but that doesn’t even earn me a $1 a day.
I struggle to buy enough food for the children. This affects their learning at school. I feel good when they go to school because they normally have a meal at school.
I depended on well wishers like CEHOZ [ZOA’s partner] for food.”
Your help can support children through primary and
secondary school, provide nutritious school meals so pupils
aren’t learning on an empty stomach and support those that can
through tertiary vocational training. We provide a holistic
approach so also provide mental health support and other inputs