Charity Chase

Written By: The Lowdown - Jul• 01•00

At least 72% of households in Zambia have one orphaned child in it. A staggering 54% of children in Zambia have lost one or both of their parents says a UNICEF report issued in 1997. The situation is indeed dire, not only for these children, but also for the Zambian nation.

Nyumba Yanga meaning My Home is a project for homeless and vulnerable young girls in Zambia. A Congregation of Sisters, who work in collaboration with a Board of Management and an Executive Committee, runs the project.

The project has been funded by the Norwegian Embassy, with assistance from the Irish Embassy and the Canadian High Commission and the aim of the project is to provide a caring and supportive environment for these young girls, and in particular, AIDS orphans. As a start, the project is caring for girls between the ages of five and ten years.

The project will be developed in phases with Phase One involving the construction of three houses on land provided by the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Each house will accommodate ten girls and a housemother. Phase Two is planned for children aged ten to sixteen years who have passed through Phase One. Some girls will continue with their education whilst others will have an opportunity to learn trades that will prepare them for employment. During this stage the girls will be reintroduced into the wider community so that they can mix easily with their peers, but under the supervison of an experienced housemother.

The project will also offer a counselling service to those who need it and hopes to accommodate more young girls, but for this to be possible the project needs assistance from all well-wishers both local and overseas. Each year a detailed report will be sent to each donor on the work and progress of Nyumba Yanga. For information contact Sister Jeya 282-557 or Sister Fidelma 290-654

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