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Education & Enrichment

Sponsor a Child, Zambia

By August 8, 2016 No Comments
Our Sponsor a Child Program in Zambia works with underprivileged children by sponsoring their education and providing support. 
Zambia is an exceedingly poor country with 78% of the population living below the extreme poverty line on less than a dollar a day. To address the difficulties parents obviously had in educating their children, shown by declining enrollment rates in the 1990’s, the government introduced the free basic education policy. This was to enable children access to free primary education up to grade 7. However, although there was more access for children to attend grades 1-7, the government did not allocate enough money to support the sector. This has caused many children who are in school to receive an ineffective education in buildings that quite often are inadequate. This has led the schools to require parents to make a contribution every year, thus removing the benefits of the free education.

In addition, there are not enough places in government schools for all the children in the country. Community schools have been formed by volunteers to teach the children who cannot get access to a government school because of lack of spaces, lack of finances, or because there is not one close enough to home. These do not get any funding from the government or have government-trained teachers. Often the teachers are barely educated themselves and managing a class of up to 100 children with no resources. Community school teachers are unpaid and so commitment is often an issue and classes can be left without a teacher on a regular basis.

Currently more than a quarter of a million children are not enrolled in school. 47% do not finish primary school. 65% of the children who do complete primary do not enter secondary school.

Without education children will not have the tools to thrive at future jobs and the cycle of poverty will continue through the generations. But there is more to it than that. Consider what the child must do to survive. Many have to go and work to contribute to their household income, or they must look after sick relatives or young children. 40.6% of Zambian children are forced into labour.

Girls are sold to much older men for marriage to help their families afford to feed themselves. Some are sold for men’s entertainment. 1,198,500 Zambian girls have been forced into early marriage over the last 2 years. Children who do not attend school miss out on so much more than learning their ABC’s and 123’s. They miss out on the opportunity to grow and develop in a safe space, to expand their mind so that they know they have a choice in life to have better, to be better. They do not get empowered. Without empowered individuals how can a community, even a whole nation, become empowered to affect positive change?

We provide vulnerable children, identified and assessed by our local community partners, with the opportunity to go to school by facilitating donations from sponsors.

The sponsorship money pays school fees for a year, a set of uniform and shoes, a bag, stationary, exercise books, and necessary text books. Throughout the year they can ask for additional funds for school trips, extra text books, etc.
In addition, 29.5% of the sponsorship fee goes directly to the school’s fund to improve the quality of education for the sponsored children and the hundreds of other children who also attend the school.

We have a Sponsor a Child specialist who is on the ground in Livingstone who can offer all sponsored children support as and when needed and to manage the monies and purchases.

How much does it cost?
Primary School (grades 1 – 7) ≈ $290 / £175 / €240
Basic School (grades 8 – 9) ≈ $390/ £260/ €320
Secondary School (grades 10 – 12) ≈ $420/ £280/ €345

Schools across Livingstone vary in their school fees, usually reflecting the quality of the school. As you would expect the community schools cost far less annually than a government school. However, we have found that these children often need more additional support due to the lack of resources in the school. Therefore the money balances. In addition to this, it is important that we do not disadvantage a child looking for sponsorship by making their fees higher than the other children if they attend a more expensive school.

17.5% of the fees goes to administration costs. This ensures that there is a specialist on the ground ensuring that the children get the support they need to succeed in their education.

Short Term Impact: Enabling a child to go back to school means that they will spend their days off of the streets and under proper adult supervision. This is a much safer and healthier situation for many children who currently spend their days alone and unsupervised at home.

Long Term Impact: A formal education gives children and young adults the opportunity to develop skills that will allow them to earn a living and support themselves in the future.

The African Impact Foundation works with several different communities – known locally as compounds – throughout Livingstone, including Linda, Nakatindi and Maramba to name only a few. The total population of Livingstone is an estimated 109,203 – however, figures are difficult to accurately measure given the transient nature of the town and the location of surrounding settlements.

Linda – Linda compound, one of the most densely populated housing areas in Livingstone, is home to some 11,600 or more people. Unfortunately this area is also characterized by an alarmingly high birth rate, the population having risen from an estimated 8,000 in just three years (potentially over 3000 births).

Maramba – Maramba, located near a Zambezi River tributary called the Maramba River, was the first location sponsored by the Government from 1922 to 1927. However, like other suburbs, Maramba now contains a lot of unplanned structures. Maramba does also contain one of the only government-supported residences for the elderly in Zambia, which currently houses over 40 residents who otherwise would be left to fend for themselves due to a lack of family support.

Nakatindi – Nakatindi community established itself in 1987. Nakatindi is characterized as a community with a high percentage of retirees and a low percentage of people in stable employment. It is evident that peer pressure has led to the prevalence of drug abuse and the abundance of local beerhouses or ‘shebeens’.

In 2017 we had over 100 children sponsored.

26 children have graduated grade 12 so far
Over 150 children have been educated or are now in school
2 children with disabilities are able to attend specialist schools that best suit their needs
5 graduates have gone on to university, one of which received a scholarship to a university in India
24 schools have been positively impacted
In the past schools have purchased printers, photocopiers, and run feeding programs from the funds they got from sponsorship. Linda Community School uses their fund to sponsor their children who pass grade 7 but who cannot afford to move up to a Basic School for grade 8 without financial assistance.

Please email Sharon on zsac@happyafricafoundation.org for more information.