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Improvement of equal educational chances of street children in Zambia through streetworking and rehabilitation

Zambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Despite the economic growth, according to the data for 2011, 71% of its population still lived below the poverty line. Lusaka, the capital and the biggest city in the country, is the place suffering from problems of homelessness and crime, also among children and adolescents. NGOs estimate that approx. 60,000 children with no access to education live on the streets of Lusaka.

The project was implemented between 31 May and 31 December 2013 in Lusaka (Zambia), and counted with participation of two volunteers who stayed there respectively from 16 July to 31 December, and from 31 July to 31 December 2013. The coordinator of the project was the Foundation Hear Africa, and the local partners were Action For Children Zambia and Home of Hope.

The project activities focused on two centres for homeless children Salvation House and Kulanga Bana Farm, belonging to the local partners of the project. Main components were educational, vocational, pedagogical and socialising activities. Volunteers worked on the streets with homeless children and youth. Those activities improved the quality of life of the homeless youngsters, and some of them were given a chance of coming back to school and society.

As a result, the children from the Salvation House were equipped with basic knowledge and skills that allowed them to start school education. Volunteers carried out 304 hours of English classes (56 participants), 228 hours of art workshops (32 participants), 76 hours of music classes and 228 hours of sport activities. Volunteers organised as well 150 hours of re-education classes, 20 hours of workshops and 10 hours of individual consultations about health care and sex education. 32 participants of 40-hour cooking course gained new skills that might become their future source of income.

Trainings of education and pedagogy methods for the educators from the centre (20 hours, 12 participants) improved their way of conducting educational and pedagogical activities. Volunteers conducted a total of 226 hours of street working and crisis intervention, attending to a total of approx. 200 homeless children and adolescents.