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The Girl Impact

The Girl Impact, Zambia

By October 10, 2016 May 6th, 2019 No Comments
In Zambia we are working with over 100 girls, as well as boys and women to create lasting change.
In Zambia, life for a young girl is hard. With over 60% of the population living below the poverty line, it’s no surprise that school dropout usually begins around the age of 13. Teenage pregnancy, menstruation, duties around the home or having to care for younger siblings, often causes girls to abandon their schooling, or fall more than two years behind their expected age grade. With very little support for those girls, it limits their potential and has other far-reaching implications.

  • HIV spreads twice as fast among uneducated girls in Zambia than any country in the world.
  • Women with no education have their first birth 6.2 years earlier than women with secondary education.
  • 1 in 10 Zambian women are married before the age of 15 and 45% are married by the age of 18.
  • About 28% of young females aged 15 to 19 years have begun child bearing.
  • 47% of women in Zambia have experienced physical violence since they turned 15 years old.

These startling statistic, along with many others, founded the need for African Impact’s volunteer programs in Victoria Falls. For many years, the teams on the ground have provided essential education, medical, sports, nutrition and community development initiatives that have benefited local people living in the Victoria Falls area.

Despite these successful programs, no program focused specifically on empowering the smart, young women that the team interacted with each day. Thus, The Girl Impact in Zambia was born.

EDUCATION – We help reduce the barriers to education for girls, enabling them to stay in school for longer and improve their ability to earn a living.

HEALTH – We help educate boys and girls about health risks, prevention and treatment, as well as providing support for those living with health issues such as HIV, AIDs or malaria.

SAFETY – We aim to change attitudes of whole communities on violence against girls and women, as well as providing support to those who have been the victim of violence or do not live in a safe environment.

EARLY PREGNANCY – We provide education to girls, boys and communities which aims to reduce the rates of early pregnancy in young girls, avoid unwanted pregnancy and support girls who are dealing with teenage pregnancy and early parenthood.

INCOME GENERATION – Our program prepares girls to make a living as they get older by discussing their options, teaching skills and supporting their efforts.

SELF-CONFIDENCE – We give girls a platform to value asking questions, be challenged and supported in their opinions as a means of building up girls’ self-esteem and confidence so they can take more responsibility for their future.

African Impact Foundation works with several different communities – known locally as compounds – throughout Livingstone, including Linda, Dambwa, Libuyu and Mwandi to name only a few. The total population of Livingstone is an estimated 136,897 (Census 2010) – however, figures are difficult to accurately measure given the transient nature of the town and the location of surrounding settlements. Livingstone is a tourist town and a border town (borders Zimbabwe) set to the backdrop of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Girl Impact, the Foundation’s gender equality programme, was launched in Livingstone in 2015. From the start of 2015, we have been hosting Girls’ and Boys’ groups as well as our Women’s group under a mango tree, a non-conducive learning space to talk about gender equality and sensitive issues

  • 2017: The idea to build a Community Centre was launched in order to better facilitate workshops and extend our impact past the 200 girls, boys and women we work with.  Our vision for this centre is to create a safe space to have workshops, counselling, activities and support education for girls, boys and parents to bring better opportunities for girls as they grow into young women.
  • 2018: Fundraising was launched where we raised enough money to purchase land for the Community Centre as well as start Phase One of the build. Additional funds raised in 2018 were spent on providing resources and support for the income generation garden, women’s income-generating group, as well as The Girl Impact group sessions for resources and materials.
  • 2019: We will continue to fundraise for the construction of the Community Centre and looking for the right plot of land / building to create our new centre, as well as continue support on our existing Girl Impact programmes.

For more information go to the Girl Impact website