Zambia Hope International Helps Improve Quality
Philip Chirwa, Times of Zambia - June 18, 2007
the collapse of the traditional extended family system,
the important role that non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) play in supplementing Government efforts in helping
the underprivileged in society, especially widows and
orphans, affected by HIV/AIDS, is a notorious fact.
And one such NGO is the Zambia Hope International (ZHI),
a non-partisan, non-profit making non-governmental organisation
(NGO) whose main objective is to contribute to the improvement
of the quality of life in Zambia through the promotion
of economic empowerment among the vulnerable groups
ZHI, originally called Afrihope International, came
into being in February, 2000. However, come July, 2003,
it was re-named Zambia Hope International and was registered
with the registrar of societies on July 24 the same
year. Since its inception, ZHI has fostered the spirit
of helping the underprivileged by undertaking HIV/AIDS
sensitisation programmes in schools, sponsoring outreach
projects in peri-urban areas and networking with other
NGOs in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention and character
ZHI currently serves three communities. These are Namayani
in Mumbwa’s Mwembeshi area, Misisi township in Lusaka
and Chieftainess Mungule’s area of Chibombo district.
However, once in a while, they have extended assistance
outside their geographical coverage.
In addition, ZHI has been making material donations
to other organisations that it has been networking with.
These include Mulundu Comm unity School in Mkushi, Namayani
Community Project, Mianda Community School in Livingstone,
Chitawaka Community School in Mfuwe, Community HIV/AIDS
Project Concern, and Women’s Federation for World Peace,
Inter-religious and International Federation for World
Peace and Gwembe Valley Community School Project. Other
recipients of ZHI donations are the University Teaching
Hospital (UTH) and the ministry of Health.
Other organisations that have benefited from ZHI’s charity
work are the Ideal Family Clinic, Zambia Shall Be Saved
Foundation and the Islamic Council of Zambia.
ZHI’s donations are in form of second-hand clothes or
“salaula”, solar packs, pharmaceutical products, computers,
sporting equipment, kitchen utensils, footwear, bedsheets,
uniforms, musical and medical equipment. But ZHI does
not just go about donating things. In fact, its major
area of operation is empowering the communities it is
dealing with by providing them with survival skills
to make them self-reliant. To this end, it has acquired
land for agricultural production as well as running
courses in tailoring and knitting for women.
As of now, ZHI’s most prominent project is the 19-hectare
Mutakwa Village Project located in Chieftainess Mungule’s
area some 24km north of Lusaka. The project, consisting
of 300 families, is aimed at empowering the local community
to achieve self-sustainability. According to ZHI national
president, Beatrice Chilufya Darko, the farming seasons
2004/2005 and 2005/20006 ended successfully with the
project yielding sufficient food for the community.
A chicken run has been built to accommodate 3,000 chicks
and this is expected to start operating soon. “In addition
to this, we have drilled a borehole with a 10,000 litre
water tank. The irrigation exercise of the field is
now completed. This is a major breakthrough for us as
it will enable us to plant various crops throughout
the year,” Ms Darko said.
date, they have planted tomatoes, potatoes, maize, groundnuts,
beans and paprika and a variety of vegetables.
Most of the land has been cleared and stamped for cultivation.
During the 2003/2004 farming season, they planted maize
and soya beans covering four hectares. They have employed
twelve permanent workers who are assisted by casual
labour hired to perform specific tasks. This is aimed
at empowering the local community and hence reducing
the poverty level among them.
organisation is also building a training centre to offer
vocational skills such as tailoring and knitting. This
is intended to empower the local women. The Mutakwa
project is the brainchild of a British sponsor, Jayesh
Taylor, who has been consistently supporting Hope International
since its inception. To date, Mr Taylor has donated
over US$ 110,000 in cash and materials. He has shipped
three 40-feet and another three 20-feet containers of
supplies to the project, including a new 440 Massey
Ferguson tractor valued at $17,500 as well as secondhand
computers, kitchen utensils, bicycles, toys, shoes,
books, chairs, desks, uniforms and sporting equipment.
Meanwhile, in September 2003, ZHI embarked on an orphan
sponsorship programme. They have so far adopted 10 families
comprising 50 people. These are mainly widows taking
care of their own children and those of deceased relatives.
The families are supported by being provided with a
25kg bag of mealie meal on a monthly basis. On some
occasions, depending on the availability of funds, the
organisation also gives out cooking oil, vegetable and
relish as well as supporting the orphans by paying their
school fees and supplying them uniforms.