Zambia is a beautiful sub-Saharan country covered with tall grass and many trees. It has a wet hot rainy season in which most food is grown and stored followed by a cool dry season when the stored food is eaten. The landscape is dotted with thatch roof huts in small villages connected by footpaths and a few roads leading into growing towns with dirt streets and tin roofs. It is a stable country in central Africa that is landlocked with few exports. Zambia’s economy is almost entirely reliant upon its copper. The revenue from copper goes into the pockets of foreign companies, however. What little revenue reaches the Zambian economy is not evenly distributed. Most of it serving the people in and around the capitol of Lusaka.
Northern province receives very little revenue from copper and has few means of generate its own revenue as most people live in the “Bush” with no electricity or running water. This means the unemployment rate is astronomical and the government has little means to support it’s educational system.
Most people living in the Bush do not speak English because they have not had the opportunity to learn it at school, making it unrealistic to get a job in town where jobs require you to speak English (what few jobs there are). Nevertheless towns are growing because they seem more appealing than Bush life.
Life in the Bush means living without pretty much anything. That means no running water (water comes from hand dug wells or furrows), no electricity, cooking with charcoal and it’s health detriments, no bed, dirt floor with the insects and rats, malaria carrying mosquitoes, wood destroying termites, no food preservation, flooding rains and summer droughts with detrimental fires and crop failures (that they planted by hand), but worst of all, no pain medication and no medical assistance for your children.
Life in town for those who are lucky enough to have a job does not mean you have much of anything. Upon a meager income, lodging, vehicle, even food is hard to come by. Aids is still prevalent and healthcare meager. With basics unmet it’s hard to afford school fees, let alone providing a school uniform (which is a requirement to attend school).
Without government educational support and little income generated, school is not an option for most. Elementary schools in the Bush, built by the villagers, are hardly within walking distance (with no food when you get there) and being mostly dilapidated, they don’t accommodate the large number of students even if they are fortunate enough to find a teacher. Schools in town are only a little better off. High schools, mostly located in towns, have high fees, so if a family can afford it, they send one or two children. College, then, is almost completely out of reach.
Anyone fortunate enough to make it through the educational system without being sent back to village to support family members or be married off (for girls at a very young age) or having health problems, is still not guaranteed a job. With a lack of commodities to sell and few skilled labor jobs (for those who learned trades) graduates still find themselves selling tomatoes and charcoal in roadside stalls.
Despite these discouraging facts of life. Zambians are cheerful, resilient, and overwhelmingly friendly. They never complain. They love to laugh and sing and dance. They are very hard working and desire to improve wherever they can. They keep a clean house or hut and are very hospitable, they’ll give all of what little they have. They trust in their God and are very active in the Christian Faith. They hunger for an education and will do anything to get one.
Zambia’s Scholarship Fund understands the impact of education. Many of these facts of life can change when Zambian’s are empowered to change their circumstances. We are working to provide more schools in the Bush and teachers to teach in them, keeping school fees down and kids in schools (especially girls), also relieving overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. We provide supplies and fill needs so education may continue in many ways. We provide scholarships to high schools, teachers colleges, trade schools, and nursing college providing opportunities where the government cannot. And to those in need of jobs we offer funds for new businesses that improve the local economy. See a need, fill a need. We cannot do it without you.
We work in Northern province where statistics are unreliable, undocumented, and mostly unattainable due to poor infrastructure and remoteness of contact.
Zambia ranks among the countries with highest level of inequality globally. As of 2015, 58% of Zambians earned less than the international poverty line of $1.90 per day (compared to 41% across Sub-Saharan Africa) and three quarters of the poor lived in rural areas
-The World Bank
Zambia’s Life Expectancy is 53 years. That’s in the bottom three countries in the world. Only Lesotho and Afganistan have a lower life expectancy. HIV/AIDS and Malaria are prevalent in Zambia and contributes to its low life expectancy. Zambia is in the top 8 countires with the most AIDS cases in the world. Over 400,000 people in the world die every year of Malaria, most of them African.
The average number of children born to a Zambian woman is 5.5. That puts Zambia in the top ten countries of the world with most number of children born to a woman . The country’s total fertility rate averages among the world’s highest, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood.
The median age of Zambians is 17 years. Putting them in the bottom eight countries of the world with the youngest median age. Currently, the median age ranges from a low of about 15 in Niger and Uganda to 40 or more in several European countries and Japan.