Hello to our awesome family, friends, friends of friends, and strangers!
This fall Luke and I will be traveling to Zambia, Africa to volunteer with an organization called Dream Livingstone Zambia. This volunteering opportunity is arranged through an international volunteering organization called IVHQ, which connected us to this local non-profit in the town of Livingstone. The project we will be involved in focuses on contributing to the education and support of vulnerable children in Livingstone and the surrounding rural communities. We started this fundraiser in order to be able to bring an additional donation to the local non-profit organization we will be working with while at our placement.
The full amount of money raised will be donated; it’s not a fundraiser to help us pay for our time there. We just want to make sure that is crystal clear to anyone that is considering contributing! 🙂
You can access the fundraising page by clicking here.
You can also read more about Zambia, the work we will be doing during our time there, and what your money can help to support throughout the rest of this page.
A bit of information about Zambia:
Zambia 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. With a significant portion of the population living under the poverty line in Zambia, 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 we will 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.
👉👉 How can you contribute?👈👈
We haven’t even arrived yet, and already we are learning so much about the kids of Zambia! Their circumstances are vastly different than those of the kids in our communities in the USA, but the children are enthusiastic, vibrant and smart. Through the existing non-profit Dream Livingstone Zambia, there is staff on hand to help bring resources to these children. Working to provide education, nutrition, and attention, these programs help to enhance childhood and development by lessening the obstacles of unmet basic needs. In addition, there are many volunteers who are on hand and enthusiastically helping to implement programs and provide care for these children.
Much of what is needed is financial resources.
Our goal is to use the money raised through this Go Get Funding account to donate to a project that will benefit these kids, prior to our leave from Zambia. Since we are not there yet and do not yet fully understand what the exact needs are, it is hard to share a specific breakdown of what the money will go toward. Our plan is to keep this fundraising page open for a portion of the time we are in Zambia so that we can share an update with all of you and you can learn more about our placement. As we learn more about the children, the projects that are in place, the needs, the care centers and school, we will be able to share more details about what Dream Livingstone Zambia feels the money could best be used for. We do love the idea of using some of the funds to put together small goodie bags for the kids in our classes/center prior to our leave, so we may do this too. The bags would have small practical items like hair ties and soap, as well as fun things like little treats and small toys. Of course, this will all depend on what we learn about what is considered valuable and helpful when we arrive. As a bonus, this would support local shops where we make the purchases.
In any case, we will share an update as time in Zambia progresses so that you feel confident that your money is supporting a good cause!
If you are interested in learning more about the program, there is a nice five-minute video available on the IVHQ Zambia Volunteering information page. You can view it at the following link to see some scenes from the community, volunteer placements, and hear about past volunteers experiences.
IVHQ Zambia: https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-zambia/
Dream Livingstone Zambia Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/dreamlivingstonezambia
If you have ANY questions as you review and consider, please let us know! No amount of donation is too little. And on the flip side, the fundraising goal we set is arbitrary, and if we raise more, then fantastic! 🙂
Katie and Luke