Zambia – Access to Education

Zambia – a country of awe inspiring beauty. Home to 72 languages, Victoria Falls – one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, and some of the most amazing people in the world. A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Zambia is bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola, Zambia has a population of  5,021,002; a peaceful and diverse country that is rich in natural resources.
In Zambia, 73% of the population are poor or extremely poor and in the rural areas, 71% of people live in extreme poverty. Over a million Zambian children now classified as “orphans or vulnerable children”. One in every three primary aged children do not attend school, either because they are unable to find fees or are busy working for cash or in the home.

Zambia continues to strengthen governance and democratic processes, with government institutions developing and reinforced transparency and accountability efforts. Despite these efforts, corruption remains a major constraint to the functionality and growth of the public and private sectors, civil society participation in national decision making processes remains low, and women and girls often lack equal access to education, employment and leadership opportunities. Gender-based violence, a lack of education about and access to sexual and reproductive rights, and high levels of early marriage still persist.

Women for Change
Women for Change is a Zambian gender focused non-governmental organisation (NGO), working with communities, especially women and children in rural areas to contribute towards sustainable human development using Popular Education Methodologies (PEM).

VIDEA has partnered with Women for Change for 10 years. This support has included the placement of Canadian Youth Interns and support to deliver VIDEA’s Education Programme in rural Zambia. Currently the education programme provides educational and leadership opportunities for vulnerable young men and women in rural areas across Zambia. This support includes payment of school fees, assistance to succeed in education, the provision of leadership opportunities, and on-going support and mentoring for high school and college/university-aged young people. The purpose of the programme is to demonstrate that given a chance, vulnerable, rural young people can succeed in post-secondary education and can go on to bring a pro-poor analysis into their work as tomorrow’s leaders and policy makers. In addition VIDEA works with WfC to support economic opportunities, such as the fair trade basket enterprise in Senanga, that build sustainable livelihoods and provide opportunities for women and men to work together as equal partners in development, and opportunities for communities to take responsibility for their own development by supporting improved civic education.

YWCA
The YWCA Zambia works towards a peaceful and gender sensitive Zambia with opportunities for a better quality of life for all.

VIDEA has partnered with the YWCA in Zambia for 10 years. This support has included the provision of Canadian youth interns, and support to the Children in Crisis Centre (CCIC) in Lusaka, where the YWCA delivers a component of VIDEA’s Gender Programme. This support helps to provide a safe and nurturing environment at the CCIC where girls who have been the victims of abuse can live safely and gain counselling support while they wait for a safe family of community placement, and take their perpetrators to court.

Matero Education Project
The Matero Education Project seeks to provide equal access to quality education in the Matero compound of Lusaka.

VIDEA has worked with Matero Education project for 6 years. In this time VIDEA’s education programme has provided educational opportunities to vulnerable children in this high-density urban compound, through the payment of school fees and a nutrition programme.