Poverty is widespread in Zambia – over 60% of the total population lives below the poverty line, with the rate rising over 80% in rural areas. Without sufficient income, many lack the means to reach basic food requirements – especially children and households headed by women.
An estimated 64% of Zambians are living in poverty. HIV/AIDS prevalence in Zambia is at a high of 12.4% with 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Zambia has one of the highest incidences of malaria-related deaths in the world.
Episcopal Relief & Development partners with the Zambia Anglican Council Outreach Programs (ZACOP) to facilitate community transformation so that young children survive and thrive while facing the challenges of poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Through integrated programming, ZACOP and Episcopal Relief & Development are providing critical care and support for vulnerable families with young children. The program focuses on strengthening the role of parents and primary caregivers in nurturing care and stimulation of their children while supporting families to improve health, nutrition and livelihoods.
ZACOP’s integrated rural program is based in local churches and schools serving as Early Childhood Development Centers. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) program is supported in part by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and with prior support from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. By end of 2018, the program will have reached 8,760 primary caregivers and 17,520 children under the age of five and will connect a network of 2,905 community volunteers – including promoters, grannies, pre-school teachers, community health workers, psychosocial counselors and members of safe motherhood action groups. The proposed four- year (2018-2021) ECD program will build on current success and momentum by introducing 80 new ECD centers.
The ECD program leverages the assets of the Church nationally and locally, focusing on young children’s cognitive, psychosocial and physical development. Trained ECD volunteers facilitate support and learning groups for caregivers and playgroups for children, make monthly home visits and provide referrals to needed services. The program succeeds in helping caregivers and communities so that young children can thrive in rural areas, serving as a catalyst for community organizing and development in marginalized areas.
Caregiver learning and support groups are the hub for diverse activities, including education about child health and nutrition and the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene. The groups include a Savings with Education component where participants are able to build up personal funds to invest in their children’s health and education. Participants are also able to access training and seeds for constructing household gardens to improve household nutrition and diet diversity. Adult literacy classes and vocational and business training have enabled many individuals, especially women, to start small enterprises and support their families.
Our work with Women focuses on helping communities promote the rights of women and children and move toward the vision that everyone deserves a life free from violence in a society where they are treated with dignity and respect. Only then can communities truly heal and thrive.
Our work with Children supports and protects kids under six so they reach appropriate health and developmental milestones. This focus on early development is foundational and critical to helping children achieve their full potential as future contributing members of their communities.
Water is essential for life. But the quality of the world’s fresh water resources is threatened by improper sanitation, agricultural runoff and lack of treatment facilities, as well as disasters and environmental changes. Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. Read more about Clean Water.Read more about Clean Water
Over 300,000 women worldwide die each year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Millions of infants die in their first few weeks of life – many of them also from preventable conditions. Prenatal care and monitoring health of expectant and new mothers and their children reduces illness and saves lives. Read more about Maternal and Child Health.Read more about Maternal & Child Health
Almost one billion people are affected by chronic hunger and poverty worldwide. Malnutrition or lack of access to food can jeopardize overall productivity, health and well-being. Read more about Agriculture.Read more about Agriculture
Worldwide, an estimated 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Proper sanitation and hygiene education can prevent the spread of disease ― saving lives and protecting communities. Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene.Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene
Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.Read more about Micro-finance
Episcopal Relief & Development’s NetsforLife® program partnership is working in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa to fight malaria with life-saving nets and education. Since it began in 2006, NetsforLife® has distributed more than 22,000,000 nets and provided education on their proper use and maintenance, reducing the number of malaria cases by up to 45% in program areas. Read more about Malaria.Read more about Malaria