Zambia is one of the developing countries in the sub-region with high child and infant mortality rates. Malnutrition, disease, poor health service delivery, complications during birth, and high illiteracy levels among mothers, are some of the factors that send infants and children to their early graves. Presently, 45% of children under the age of five are stunted with 21% severely stunted, while 15 % are underweight. Between 2013/2014, under-five deaths were at 75 per 1,000 live births, while infant mortality was at 45 per 1,000 live births (2013/14 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey).
Child Aid is an integrated community development programme that addresses the needs of communities across multiple sectors and aims at reducing poverty. Child Aid focuses on the prevention of common diseases, improving access to clean water and sanitation, improving education opportunities, increasing food production, enhancing nutrition and maternal and reproductive health.
Development Aid from People to People implements the Child Aid programme, an integrated community development programme involving all people in the community who wish to work for the development of themselves, their families and the community with the child in focus.
The programme uses a holistic approach to mobilise and empower individuals, households and communities to increase the use of their own resources to bring development. People work within the complex reality of life to find solutions to problems that torment them. We believe that this as fundamental in achieving our goals.
By involving children, parents, farmers, women groups, youth clubs, teachers, neighbours, local leaders and the national governments as well as international partners, the programme creates many different frontiers for attacking community problems in order to create capacity and ability of the communities and families to improve living conditions for children and to secure their sound upbringing.
Through the Child Aid projects, community, household and school latrines and water points are been constructed leading to increased access to clean portable water and improved hygiene and health in schools and communities.
Village Action Groups (VAGs) – the programme’s structure through which activities are coordinated in the communities – are being sensitised on disease prevention, childcare and the need to give children the best start in life by sending them to school. With the support of the communities, the projects establish pre-schools in the operation areas and further work with other community and government schools.
The projects strengthen the economies for the families by mobilising communities to engage in income generating activities and by providing families with pass on loans of livestock, crop packages and micro finance to boost their financial base. Furthermore, families are trained in sustainable agriculture production and environmental management in order to increase their crop yields and to protect the environment which is presently at the brink of destruction due to human activities.
Through its 10 lines of development, Child Aid programme contributes towards most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including the following:
- No Poverty- Endpovertyin all its forms everywhere (SDG 1);
- Zero Hunger-End hunger, achievefood securityand improved nutrition and promotesustainable agriculture (SDG 2)
- Good Health and Well-being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (SDG 3)
- Quality Education- Ensureinclusiveandequitablequality education and promotelifelong learning
- Gender Equality- Achievegender equalityandempowerall (SDG 5)
- Clean Water and Sanitation- Ensureavailabilityand sustainable management of water andsanitationfor all (SDG 6)
- Affordable and Clean Energy- Ensure access to affordable, reliable,sustainableand modern energy for all (SDG 7)
- Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy (SDG 13)
- Life on Land - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (SDG 15).
Reach and operational areas
Currently, DAPP implemented Projects the 10 provinces of Zambia. The list below shows all the projectsa and where they are situated.
Southern Province: Monze
Eastern Province: Lundazi and Chipata
Western Province: Kaoma, Mongu and Shangombo,
Central Province: Mumbwa, Lukanga, Chibombo and Mkushi
Luapula Province: Samfya, Mansa and Nchelenge
Northern Province: Kasama, Mpika and Mungwi
Copperbelt: Chingola, Kitwe and Chililabombwe
Muchinga: Mungwi, Kasama and Mpika
Key structures in most Child Aid projects
The Village Action Group (VAG)
The first step when starting a new area is for the community to meet and identify their resources and constraints. During the meeting, it is discussed how the Child Aid programme can bring development in the area and the role of the various key players.
A Village Action Group is formed consisting of one representative from each household. The group chooses two group leaders (gender balanced) who receive training. The group meets weekly for lessons, discussions and actions. Each member represents a family and disseminates information learned to the entire family. The group is given a manual with monthly headline and leads the group through the “Start up programme”. After completion of the start up programme, the VAG members make action plans according to their needs.
The School programme
Education for children is a key element in the Child Aid projects. As such, all the projects run a school programme and all the schools in the operational areas are members of the programme. The programme trains two peer educators from grade 5, 6 or 7, who assist the coordinating teacher to lead the programme. The trained peer educators teach fellow pupils practical issues such as cleaning of latrines, filling water in the hand washing tanks and growing of trees. Children also learn to be responsible, to lead, to be proactive, etc. It is a good example to everybody at the school that the participation of everybody is necessary to create development.
The programme is also improving quality of education by constructing and rehabilitating sanitation facilities in schools. This provides a hygienic and good learning and teaching environment for pupils and teachers, respectively, while improving pupils’ academic performance and retention of teachers especially in rural schools.
Children are provided with the best start in life by offering them education during the first stages of their life. This is done through the establishment of pre-schools in communities. Parents organise themselves in parents’ committees. They elect a local person to become a teacher. They find a place to run the pre-school and construct a simple classroom. The community pays all running expenses including the teacher’s salary. The projects train teachers and monitor the pre-schools to secure good quality education. The children learn through using their brain, their hands, their imagination and their body each day.
Out-of-school youth clubs
Out of school youths are bound to engage in many anti-social activities including risky sexual behaviour if they are not offered livelihood options in the face of unemployment and/or economic quagmire. Thus Child Aid projects empower the youth by providing them knowledge and skills that can help them survive in the face of every life challenges.
The youths are organised in clubs and club members meet weekly and carry out a programme involving training in life skills such as how to stay healthy, with emphasis on HIV/ AIDS prevention; family life; economy and production. The club members also embark on sport and culture. They carry out small income generating activities to meet expenses for the club.
In the first- half of 2016, the Child Aid projects worked with 151 out-of-school youth clubs
Evaluation results of one Child Aid Project
In June 2016, the projects worked towards reaching the ultimate and overall welfare of the child by improving the conditions of their households and securing maternal and child health, poverty alleviation strategies, water and sanitation improvements, environmental management, HIV/AIDS eradication, support to orphans, establishment and maintenance of community pre-schools, disease prevention and other community concerns identified by target communities.
Working along 8 Child Aid lines, the projects trained and mobilised individuals, households and communities to increase the use of their own resources for their self-advancement. In the first half of 2016, Child Aid worked with 34,576 families in 4,100 structures including Village Action Groups, Saving groups, Youth clubs, Women’s groups, Parents’ Farmers Clubs, Village Health Committees and Parents’ Community School Committees.
Members of the various Child Aid Community Groups learned together, carried out actions, supported and inspired each other, organised saving groups, worked in demonstration gardens and much more. The project further linked the groups to services such as training and input.
The Child Aid projects in Zambia aim at improving the livelihood of families and communities through an integrated approach which builds and strengthens their capacities to alleviate poverty and disease and create opportunity for all.
The projects trained and mobilised individuals, households and communities to increase the use of their own resources for their self-advancement. In the first half of 2016, Child Aid worked with 34,576 families in 4,100 structures including Village Action Groups, Saving groups, Youth clubs, Women’s groups, Parents’ Farmers Clubs, Village Health Committees and Parents’ Community School Committees.
The following are key results achieved during a half-year implementation period from January to June 2016:
- The Child Aid projects, recorded 12,637 beneficiaries from the pass-on of loans of crops, 550 received pass on loans of chicken or goats and 12,208 from input gardening
- It was recorded that, 100 preschools were established and 4116 children were enrolled in preschool
- A total of 50,541 families participated in the health lessons, and 64 community schools wells rehabilitate and established
- 907 Orphans and Vulnerable Children were directly supported with educational materials
- To enhance environmentalism, the Child Aid projects planted 43,863 in various operational areas of the project
- There has been continued increase in the number of families saving money from 1,430 in 2014, 2,467 in 2015 to 2,660 this year
- Child Aid Mansa collected information from Mabumba Clinic in the operation area, which stated that from the start of the project in 2014 to date, there was a reduction by 80% of children being born underweight