Food security and community development
In rural eastern Zambia, life can be dire for women in vulnerable situations, like widows, sex workers, and girls from poor families. Child marriage is still common when families can’t afford to support all their children, and women who lose their husbands often have no way at all to support themselves, beyond growing a small amount of food. Their children may have to drop out of school, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
This shipment is equipping an organisation to continue their work with the most vulnerable women in their district of 1.7 million. “In our area about 78% of the people live in abject or severe poverty,” they told us. They’re helping by training women in business skills, then giving small loans to start business of their own. Since starting in 2010, more than 5,300 women have benefited! The NGO also supports orphans to stay in school, and has further programmes to benefit entire communities, such as building safe, hygienic toilets for schools, digging boreholes and caring for HIV patients.
- Computers, to train youth in computer skills
- Clothing for children and women in women’s empowerment programmes
- Office furniture and supplies for administrative centres
- Books for new community library
The Lungu family know what it means to feel starving. Each year, their small farm plot only grew enough food to last three months. For the rest of the year, they lived on what small amount of food their meagre income could purchase, which was scarcely enough to live on.
Today, as they stand in front of the granary (above), the Lungus feel more secure. Crossroads’ partner worked in their village to teach people better, higher yield agricultural techniques like soil management, crop rotation and irrigation. “Every farmer is expected to experiment with small, safe innovations to see what methods work best,” wrote our partners. Now the Lungu family farm grows enough food to last 12 months – enough to see them through to each annual harvest.
This shipment will include goods to will help administer programmes that work with 900 families like the Lungus on agricultural techniques.
Maiko (left) didn’t think he would ever finish school. His parents died of HIV/Aids, leaving Maiko and his siblings in the care of their elderly grandfather. Crossroads’ partners took Maiko into their programme and supported him, not only through school but on to a tertiary Education College. Now, Maiko works as a teacher and supports his entire family.
Clothes, stationery, toys and other goods in this shipment will help our partner care for orphans like Maiko, transforming their lives and giving them great opportunities.