Part One: Zambia, Africa

The first stop for Luke and I on our “World Citizen Project” is Zambia, Africa.  During our time in Zambia, we’ll be volunteering with a local non-profit called Dream Livingstone Zambia.

Where is Zambia?

A81104B6-BDFB-4C03-BDAC-D14E5E25D155Zambia is a landlocked country, located in Southern Africa at the end of the Great Rift Valley. It shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola.

A significant portion of the population lives under the poverty line in Zambia, and there are many vulnerable children that suffer from a lack of resources to meet their basic needs. This includes poor hygiene, inadequate education, insufficient food and very little healthcare. The HIV epidemic has caused huge devastation in Zambia and a significant portion of the adult generation has been killed by the disease. As a result, the population of Zambia is very young, with the median age around 16 or 17 years old and about half of the population below 15 years of age. Many children are orphaned, with Zambia at one of the highest per capital orphan rates in the world. We have learned that a lot of these children are being cared for by relatives that are in their late teens or early twenties themselves. There is a lot of need.

What will we be doing?

As a volunteer on the Kindergarten project in Zambia, we will be providing extra assistance within pre-schools, nursery schools and day care centers with children aged from 2-7 years old. As the volunteer organization puts it, “individualized attention and a focus on early development and education are crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty in Zambia.”

In addition to helping teach math and English to the kids, we will be helping with mentoring and homework, as well as preparing meals, cleaning, and helping with the general running of the home/center. We also will have time to interact with the kids through playing games, singing, dancing, sports, and arts and crafts.

Can you contribute?

YES!  We have put together a fundraiser page in an effort to make a donation prior to our leave from Zambia.  ALL funds raised will go directly to the local program.

Check out the fundraiser by clicking here.

Also, we’d like to extend a special thanks to IVHQ, the international volunteering organization that connected us with this local non-profit, helped us arrange the details, and provided much of the information I’m sharing here.

And thanks to all of you for being a part of this journey!

xx.  Katie

Photo courtesy of the volunteer coordinators we have worked through,  IVHQ!

**Header photo courtesy of Dream Livingstone Zambia Facebook Page.