Under-five Mortality Rate (2015): 64 deaths per 1,000 live births (ranked 33 of 193). Source: UNICEF SOWC Report, 2016.
Human Development Index (HDI) (2014): 0.586 (ranked 139 of 188). Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 2015.
Number of enrolled children (FY15): 28,324
Number of beneficiaries (FY15): 316,063
ChildFund Zambia seeks to provide a positive and sustainable environment for deprived, excluded and vulnerable children, to help them have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. ChildFund has been working in Zambia since 1983 and provides support to over 300,000 people. The organisation implements programmes and projects through partnership with fully registered community based Local Partners called Child Development Agencies. Currently, ChildFund has established partnerships through memoranda of understanding with six such child development agencies in Chibombo, Kafue, Lusaka, Luangwa, Mumbwa and Chongwe. ChildFund’s key strength lies in mobilizing communities and empowering them to play an active role in their own development efforts through community based interventions, capacity building and ensuring sustainable practices in the community.
Currently, ChildFund Zambia operates in nine of the 10 provinces in Zambia, i.e., Central, Copper Belt, Eastern, Northern, North Western, Luapula, Muchinga, Lusaka, and Southern. For the current strategic period (2012-2016), ChildFund Zambia intends to expand its reach and depth to benefit more children.
ChildFund Zambia’s programme focus is anchored on the deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability framework (DEV). The framework highlights the fact that poor children are deprived of essential material conditions and services. Our programmes are also driven and inspired by the potential that is inherent in all children – their potential to survive, thrive and become leaders thereby bringing lasting change to their communities.
We continue working to create cohesive and focused programmes aligned to the three life stages: infants and young children (0-5 years), children (6-14 years) and youth (ages 14-24 years). For Infants, we support interventions that promote their health, nutrition, early education, safe motherhood, malaria prevention and control, and child protection. In partnership with the Zambian Government, we also continue to promote both access and delivery of quality education through the implementation of the Child-Friendly School Programmes with components such as infrastructure development, water and sanitation, provision of teaching and learning materials, among other supportive interventions. Under youth programming, our thrust is on youth economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, leadership development and civic engagement. We also support youth leadership forums and address youth participation through policy advocacy.
2015 Programme Achievements
Healthy and Secure Infants (0-5 years old)
A child’s healthy start in life depends on a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery; this in turn depends on the quality of maternal care that a woman gets. It is for this reason that ChildFund continues working to ensure that children have the best start in life by supporting healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries.
During FY15, our efforts focused on ensuring that women in the reproductive age group not only plan their families but also deliver under the care of a skilled birth attendant so as to reduce cases of both maternal and infant deaths. To this end, a total of 56 Community Based Distributors (CBDs) were trained in administering condoms, oral contraceptives and injectable Depo-Provera to men and women in the reproductive age group, adding to the existing 122 CBDs that are providing these services in our sites. Following training, the National Office purchased and distributed various incentives to the CBDs as a way of motivating them. The incentives included rain coats, gum boots, bicycles, and material used during the provision of services to the communities.
Preliminary evidence suggest decreased infant morbidity and mortality (80%) and lesser numbers of malnutrition (70%) among children below 5 years of age, especially in Luangwa where agriculture and family planning services have been provided for over five years. We also have less abortions and unwanted pregnancies among women in areas where the trained CBDs are working.
Through the Clean and Safe Water Project, we provided Procter and Gamble water treatment sachets for the 6,000 households that are being targeted in Mumbwa and Nyimba. The provision of safe drinking water has led to reduced cases of diarrheal diseases, especially among children in these areas.
During the year under review, ChildFund supported Government efforts in the printing of family planning registers, which had run out in most health facilities. One hundred registers were printed and distributed in all the sites. This has made the work of the family planning provides in these sites easier.
Educated and Confident Children (6-14 years old)
In the area of education, ChildFund Zambia’s main focus is on Early Childhood Care and Development and improving access and the quality of education in schools. The office also implemented the Child Friendly School (CFS) concept, where the improvement of both soft and hardware were considered.
Some of the key activities carried out included the following: training of teachers in Child Friendly teaching methodologies using the Active Teaching and Learning Approaches in Schools (ATLAS) concept. A total of 172 teachers from 37 schools were trained. Other activities included the purchasing of desks, teaching and learning materials, and the provision of water reticulation systems in schools. All these measures were aimed at improving access and the quality of education. For schools like Chombela that received desks, the enrolment increased from 99 to 149 in 2014 (16 percent increase).
In terms of the four participating CFSs, Chombela, Mutakwa (Chibombo District), Chanynya, and Magoba (Kafue District) the combined pass rate increased from 76 percent in 2013 to 83 percent in 2014 for boys, and 80 percent in 2013 to 81percent in 2014 for girls.
Additionally, all the CFSs recorded a reduction in pupil absenteeism. In most of the schools under the CFS project, the average rate of absenteeism dropped from 15 children per day in 2014 to less than 10 children per day in 2015. Reduced absenteeism has also led to learners’ performing better in class as they miss fewer lessons. This shows that funding allowing, the CFS project should be extended to all the schools where ChildFund has a presence.
The rehabilitation of classrooms in the participating schools has led to a significant reduction in classroom congestion, which is enabling teachers to spend more individual and quality time with learners. Six teachers’ houses were also rehabilitated in an effort to ensure that teachers are not walking long distances from their homes to the schools. Living within the school compounds also gives them more time to prepare effective and quality lessons, which enables the learners to perform better.
Other activities during the year included the drilling of boreholes in each of the four schools. Water harvesting ponds were also erected for the collection of water from waste trenches. This is used for watering the school gardens as well as supplying drinking water for livestock in the surrounding villages. The improved water reticulation system in these schools further enhanced the child friendly school environment as over 20,000 children had access to safe and clean drinking water. The hand washing campaign was also augmented during the year.
During the year, ChildFund Zambia, in collaboration with other Civil Society Organisations, partnered in complementing the Ministry of Education (MESVTEE) work in the development of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Policy and the minimum standards. In 2014, the Ministry of Education was given the Mandate to oversee the ECE component, which in the past was under the Local Government.
Skilled and Involved Youth (15-24 years old)
ChildFund Zambia views young people ages 15 to 24 years as agents of positive change in their communities and the country as a whole. Once they are equipped with the relevant skills, these youth have the capacity to break the cycle of poverty before it affects the next generation. We also realize that the youth become more confident as they are given opportunities to participate and make decisions about issues that affect their lives. It is for this reason that we continue focusing our efforts on equipping the youth with economic skills, enabling them to obtain non-exploitative employment and sexual and reproductive health skills training to enable them to make informed decisions concerning their sexual health.
Our interventions, done in partnership with the Zambian Government and other stakeholders, enabled our young people to gain and practice leadership, problem solving and reproductive health skills, among others. Below is a detailed account of some of the projects that we embarked on in FY15:
Programmes — Agriculture
Zambia is endowed with a large land resource base of 42 million hectors of which only 1.5 million hectors is cultivated every year (4%). There are also abundant water resources for irrigation. It is for this reason that ChildFund continued to encourage agriculture as the main source of livelihood in our areas of operation. Most of the families we work with are subsistence farmers growing maize, groundnuts and vegetables for consumption.
ChildFund has also implemented projects that promote food security and increase household income. One such project that we are implementing is the New Zealand funded Luangwa Agriculture Integrated Project (LIAP) which is benefiting 1, 500 households in the Luangwa district.
All the agriculture related projects were implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.
During FY15, one of the major innovative undertakings was the installation of a solar powered fence across 869 hectares of land cultivated by farmers under the Luangwa Integrated Agriculture Project. The primary purpose for fencing the cultivated areas was to protect crops from destruction by wild animals, as Luangwa is a Game Management Area. Secondly it was to relieve farmers of the burden to sleep in their crop fields from the day they plant their crop to the day of harvest.
With this innovation, farmers will become more productive as they will be able to attend to other equally important economic activities besides guarding their crops in their fields. This project achieved 100 percent of its intended goal as all 869 Ha have been successfully fenced off by a solar powered wire fence.
Child protection remained one of the areas of focus during the year under review. We realized that violence against children came in many forms including child marriages which are rampant in most of our operational areas. It was for this reason that we launched a campaign in partnership with the Zambian Government, children, the youth and other stakeholders to end this harmful practice in all our areas of operation.
Campaign to End Child Marriages: Ending violence against children remained a high priority in our work during the year under review. We realized that we could not effectively end violence against children if we did not take steps to put a stop child marriage which puts girls and young women at risk of abuse throughout their lives.
It was for this reason that ChildFund Zambia partnered with children and youth, the Zambian Government, traditional leaders, and other NGOs, to launch a vigorous campaign against early marriages. Children from all six ChildFund Zambia programme areas presented a petition imploring Government and the chairperson of the House of Chiefs, Chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukambo II who represented other traditional leaders, to protect their future by ending child marriages.
With this on-going campaign, a collective voice is being raised as ChildFund Zambia along with our local partners, in ensuring that we make this country a safe place for children to live and achieve their potential as infants, school children, young adults and beyond.
Training in Child Rights: During the year ChildFund Zambia trained 100 girls in the Chongwe District. The training was aimed at raising awareness about child protection and promoting the well-being of the girl child. The girls that were trained were those who were most at risk of entering into early marriages which are rife in the district. The training has helped the girls become resilient and formulate goals that would enable them to stay focused in order to achieve their goals.
The girls are now more confident about staying in school until they get the necessary skills to enable them not only earn a living but also contribute to national development in the future.
During the year under review, the office worked to ensure that disability was mainstreamed in all its programming efforts. While inclusive education is encouraged, there are severe disabilities for which we ensured that a special school for such children was opened.
The youth with special needs were also included in the livelihood projects and given start-up packages like their abled bodied colleagues. This was done to ensure that our development efforts catered to all, despite their physical abilities.
ChildFund Zambia continued to implement its programmes in partnership with Government Ministries and key child development organisations. The organisation also closely collaborated with existing Government organisations such as the District AIDS Task Forces, District Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s committees, and child protection units.
In the area of family planning, we worked with networks such as the Family Planning Technical Working group that meets to discuss issues that pertain to family planning. We also continued working with the Injectable Depo-Provera sub committees which examine issues around policy change concerning the provision of injectable Depo-Provera in various ChildFund sites.
In Education, we continue to work with the Ministry of Education and the Project Coordinating Committee (PCC), an educational technical committee which looks at providing support to Government in the educational sector.
We also worked with the Forum for Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) to promote literacy among the children we support. Reading and spelling competitions were held in selected communities and deserving children received awards.
Making the Connection
Sponsorship is important because it enables and supports the connection between children and sponsors. Further, this connection enables the primary means of contact between two very different worlds and brings the sponsorship experience to life. It is therefore imperative that we create an environment where children are able to freely and creatively express themselves. ChildFund invests in various technologies to aid children in the creative communication process. In this way, sponsorship helps the children to also excel academically as they learn the importance of literacy as the engine enabling correspondence. To achieve this, ChildFund endeavours to support an atmosphere that fosters creativity among both enrolled and sponsored children.
To enhance this process, ChildFund launched an effort in FY15 that will be carried forward, to place a premium on child participation. The rationale is that the active engagement and participation of children provided through sponsorship brings about benefits not only to those who are enrolled/sponsored, but also to the local communities where they live. Sponsorship supports the consultation and decision making on matters of concern to children. This also fosters meaningful engagements between children and adults.
Through Sponsorship, ChildFund provides a visible organisational commitment to the active involvement of children in their own development, as part of the organisation’s core intent.
All in all, sponsorship is important as it provides the building blocks upon which the ChildFund development process is founded. Sponsorship helps to demonstrate how pooled resources can help children to grow and develop as useful and productive citizens in their communities and countries. This also enhances the reputation of ChildFund as a truly child focused organisation.
Sponsorship—Enhancing Children’s Self Esteem
Fifteen year old Precious can testify that sponsorship has really helped enhance her self-esteem. Today, she is assertive and confident even when meeting people from different cultures.
Precious is the third born in a family of seven children being raised by a single parent. Her father died when she was just a toddler. The family depends on subsistence farming for their livelihood. They grow various seasonal crops like maize and groundnuts for consumption. Sometimes they do sell the surplus crop to earn an income and this is the money used to buy school supplies and other household goods.
During a recent interview, Precious explained how being a ChildFund sponsored child has changed her life. “Being sponsored has helped me learn a lot of things. I have learnt different traditions and cultures of different people through communications with my sponsor. This has helped me know how to conduct myself when I meet new people. I have taken my sponsor as a second parent as she always encourages me to work hard at school and stay focused. This has made me improve in my school performance because I want to make my sponsor proud of me. I want to be like my sponsor and become someone in life so that I too can sponsor a child one day. “
Precious also states that learning about different cultures through letters she receives from her sponsor has been very beneficial in the way she relates to people including her family and friends. ”I must also say that sponsorship has helped me to become a well cultured person. I treat people with respect and never look down on any one because my sponsor does not look down on me and my family, despite the fact that we come from a poor family background.”
Because of her assertiveness, Precious is an active member of the Anti-AIDS club at her school and her group creates awareness amongst their peers on how they can keep themselves free from HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases
“I am a member of anti-Aids club at school, here we learn about HIV and AIDS transmission, prevention and treatment. We also go out to teach other children in the community. This has helped me to take care of myself and avoid engaging in illicit sex. I have also learnt not to laugh at people who are sick but that we should make them our friends,” Precious remarked.
In conclusion, Precious says ‘’Thank you ChildFund for linking me to a sponsor. I know a lot of things compared to my friends who do not have sponsors, and this is because of the information exchange.”
Pezzo Chinyama’s Story
14 year old Pezzo Chinyama is assertive and confident; she represents other children on the Procurement Committee of the Chibombo Child Development Agency. “My role on the Procurement Committee is to ensure that issues related to and affecting children in my village are addressed. I want all children like myself to learn in a conducive environment and grow up to take over as leaders in future,” Pezzo explained in a recent interview.
But how did this young girl become so confident and able to represent other children so effectively in the midst of adults? “I owe everything to the sponsorship programme. Before, I was a very shy girl and found it difficult to speak up, especially in the presence of adults. After I was enrolled and given a sponsor, I had an opportunity to interact with my sponsor through her many letters and cards. She told me I had rights as a child, which I should always stand up for. I also learnt that I could speak for other children and mix with people of different cultures and backgrounds,” Pezzo added.
For Pezzo, who is now enrolled in the eighth grade, sponsorship has enabled her to stay focused on her education, adding that she is inspired by her sponsor who always encourages her to work hard at school. “My sponsor is a woman and she has achieved so much. In all her letters, she says school is important if I have to be someone in life; so that is why I work so hard so that I can achieve my dream of being an accountant.”
Pezzo has also undergone various trainings in child protection, child rights and goal setting organised by ChildFund Zambia for the children’s committee to which she belongs. “Recently we have been learning about the dangers of early marriages and I take these lessons to my friends and urge them never to agree to be married off before they are at least 21 years and have finished school, I have this knowledge because I’m a ChildFund sponsored child,” Pezzo stated.
Pezzo added that she will remain grateful to her sponsor who has been a friend for the past nine years and supported her both financially and emotionally.