SOS Social Centre and Medical Clinic in Lusaka, Zambia
Zambia is second in the world to Uganda with the highest number of children being orphaned due to AIDS. It is estimated that 34 percent of all children under the age of 15 years are orphans. Approximately 80 percent of the population in rural areas lives below the poverty line and more than half of the children are chronically undernourished.
The situation in the cities is difficult as even very young poor children often have no homes or family and forced to live on the streets. In the capital, Lusaka, in 1991 35,000 children lived on the streets and today it is thought that this number has easily doubled. Many of the children living on the streets are sexually abused and more than half of them are orphaned.
The SOS Children social and medical centre in Lusaka focuses on providing outreach services for the street children.
The social centre is community based and is currently giving support to 103 poor families – 702 children from four poor compounds. This may seem too little faced with so big a problem: help our charity to do more! The families are child and grandparent led families. The goal of the project is to help and strengthen the families to stay together and avoid child abandonment and street children.
Children on the streets are helped with:
- Food supplementation
- Health care
- School sponsorship
So far the programme has helped 298 children return to primary school and 17 children into secondary school. The majority of older children ask for skills trainng and 50 street children now attend the SOS Vocational training centre in Lusaka. The medical clinic provides all the families and hundreds of additional children from the four poorest communities with medical care and services. The main diseases treated are respiratory tract infections, malaria and diarrhoeal diseases. 20-30% of the children treated to date have malaria. The centre also offers voluntary AIDS testing.
Currently the medical centre benefits 150 people per day and around 2000 every month.
The social centre also runs a ‘drop in centre’ for street children (often as young as six years old). The centre will offer food, information about HIV/AIDS, hygiene, health services, educational training. Additionally the drop in centre will help children who have lost their families to be reunited with extended relatives. The drop in centre currently benefits around 800 street children per year.
Note about sponsorship: we do not offer children on our outreach programmes for to child sponsors: we only offer children who live in our villages. However, you are welcome to Sponsor a Child from one of our villages in Zambia…