Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs)
UNICEF estimates that there are currently 1.2 million orphans in Zambia under the age of 15 (either one or both parents dead). Many more children have parents/caretakers who are unable to provide for their needs. With so many children in vulnerable situations, someone needs to step up to the challenge. Addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns of these kids requires more than simply financial backing from the international community. To be effective, the resources must be connected with quality leaders who are serving on the ground.
Over the past few years we have been working with OVCs in the village of Murundu. This village has approximately 18,000 people and 1,950 orphans. Approximately 40 people are formally employed and the rest are peasant farmers and charcoal burners.
In the summer of 2008, STS entered into a partnership with a Zambian-run foundation called Enfys. Past projects have included:
- A daily feeding program has expanded to reach over 200 kids.
- A weekly AWANA program.
- Agriculture projects supplying food and employment to many people in Murundu, as well as in a neighboring village. These included growing Moringa trees, maize (corn), soy beans, tomatoes, and cabbage. Chicken and pigs were reared and sold in the nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Fifty-eight children had their school fees paid and uniforms made for the 2009 year, before the Debbie Joy school was built.
- A maize mill was re-furbished and the electricity turned on so that the money it produces could support some of the on-going activities.
There have been some big steps towards tracking progress and looking at the whole child. Many children have been enrolled to have schooling, medical care, clean water and meals, in addition to a more structured approach to their spiritual wellbeing. They are hearing daily bible stories as well as singing and praying together. There is more, and we hope that this is just the beginning…