Project Zambia is a Belfast-based registered charity. It has had an adult group based in Cassidy’s Bar since 2004. There are also two school groups who share our aims and objectives and who we work with to achieve our goals; one based in St Mary’s CBGS since 2002 and one based in St Dominic’s since 2012.
In 2004, a group of local people were inspired by the charitable work which St Mary’s CBGS carried out during the few years prior to this. Since then, each summer, an adult group of volunteers has fund-raised and travelled to Zambia with the aim of affecting positive change and building relationships with host communities. We have grown considerably since the early days and gained much local support. Today, we continue to fulfil the aims of the original group but we now operate on a larger scale; currently supporting eight communities. There have been many great achievements and challenges during this period. It is a testament to our volunteers that after all this time; we are still successfully supporting the communities who we are committed to.
Zambia is a sub-Saharan country which is extremely poor. Poverty affects every aspect of life. The average life expectancy in Zambia is 50 years but those living in slum areas have a life expectancy of between 33 to 38 years. Many people live in sub-standard accommodation; effectively slum conditions. School can be too expensive for families and diets can be very poor. The country has high rate of HIV/ AIDS and as a result, a high proportion of the child population is orphaned. Therefore grand-parent led households and child-led households are common.
Despite the difficult circumstances, Project Zambia has affected positive progress with impoverished communities. This is only possible with the support of the communities and trusted associates who represent them.
Project Zambia is a social justice organisation and charity. It is a member of the Edmund Rice Developing World Immersion Programme and takes its ethos from that organisation.
Project Zambia works alongside and in partnership with some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in Zambia, mostly around Lusaka Province. Our work focuses on education, feeding programmes, improved access to first aid/ healthcare, clean water and safe sanitation, income-generation and empowering communities through the training of local people. We work to improve the quality of life of people living in abject poverty; including orphans, disabled children, homeless youths and community leaders.
Project Zambia seeks to:
Project Zambia only works through officially recognised bodies; such as religious orders and recognised charities. We welcome volunteers and support from all sections of our community and from all faiths, genders, social backgrounds and races.