WHERE WE WORK
Here at the ATD Foundation we simply love Zambia. A country defined by beautiful landscapes, incredible and diverse wildlife and of course the stunning orange sky at sunset. However, the thing that makes this place so special is all the wonderfully kind and friendly people.
Approximately 16.6 million people live in Zambia, a country more than 3 times the size of the UK.
The population of Zambia is very young with almost 50% of the nation under the age of 16. About 40% of people live in urban areas leaving the remaining 60% in rural villages. In recent years there has been an enormous exodus of people leaving rural areas in the belief that they will find a better life in cities and towns. Sadly, this has led to mass unemployment and huge numbers of people living on the streets.
As a subtropical country, Zambia struggles with the problem of Malaria. As with many other diseases, children are often at greatest risk, with 50% of all Malaria deaths in Zambia being children under the age of 5. One of the most simple and cost effective solutions to the problem is the provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets.
Zambia has constantly battled with high rates of HIV/AIDS, with 13% of the population aged 15-49 living with the condition. The life expectancy is just 43 years, about half that of Western countries. Tragically with so many parents dying at such a young age, Zambia now has an estimated 1.1 million orphans, which is nearly 10% of the total population.
In Zambia the government has made education free for all pupils up to grade 7. Unfortunately, many children are not able to attend school despite this, as the costs of stationery, school books, uniform and PTA fees (Parents Teachers Association) are out of the reach of many families. Nationally the average classroom has one teacher per 57 pupils, with classes of as many as 100 pupils per teacher not uncommon especially in rural areas.
There is a significant gender imbalance in education. The number of girls enrolled at schools in Zambia is 25% lower than the number of boys, and attendances are estimated to be much lower than even this figure. One of the main reasons for this is that if money is tight, parents tend to send their boys to school rather than girls.
The natural wonders and wildlife of Zambia
Zambia is proud to boast one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. At 1708m Victoria Falls (or Mosi-ao-Tunya as it is known in, Kololo, the local language) is the widest waterfall in the World. Mosi-oa-Tunya literally translates to “the smoke that thunders” due to the thundering sound and mist that raises up from the water crashing onto the rocks below. During peak flow, the mist can reach nearly 1 kilometer high and can be seen for miles.