South Luangwa in Zambia is a magical destination for a safari holiday and its beauty and wildlife leave a lasting impression long after you’ve returned home. But it can be harsh and unforgiving too, especially for the local people. Most are subsistence farmers who live side by side with Luangwa’s wildlife but whilst wild animals the attract visitors they also raid crops; an entire year’s supply of maize can disappear overnight with the visit of a few elephants.
Project Luangwa is a charitable organisation which aims to help the local community in South Luangwa benefit from visitors and improve their economic prospects. We believe that the future of the area lies in the hands of the younger members of the community and that these kids should have access to a good education. But all too often we find a sad scenario – too few classrooms coupled with an inadequate number of teachers means that it is not unusual to see up to 100 kids in a class and many will be sitting on the floor due to a lack of desks and chairs. Teachers struggle with few resources and often there is just one textbook for the whole class. But these are the lucky ones; primary schooling is free but at secondary level it is not and many parents cannot afford school fees, uniform or even exercise books.
Girls have an even harder time. Early marriages are not unusual, families often favour a boy when it comes to education, abuse is all too common, a girl’s workload is higher than her brother’s, and once she reaches puberty, she may attend school for just 3 weeks out of every four.
Project Luangwa looks for long term sustainable solutions that give a hand-up rather than a hand-out. We raise funds to build more classrooms, buy text books, build and put books into libraries. We run girls’ clubs to encourage more girls to go to school, to support each other and find solutions to their difficulties. One example of this is helping them make reusable, washable sanitary pads.
Due to HIV/Aids and other diseases many children have lost parents – at one small community school 210 of the 318 pupils are double orphans. We arrange pupil sponsorship on a one to one basis enabling many kids to receive an education which they would not get without support.
The charity was formed in 2009 and is supported by five of the safari operators in the Luangwa Valley as part of their commitment to helping the local communities. At these lodges a small percentage of guest’s payment is passed on to us. This covers much of our administration costs and so we are very proud to say that 100% of donations directly support the community, education and children.
There’s a huge amount of information on our website with pages for sponsorship, volunteers, what to bring, suitable books to bring and even bras.
Call at the office: Chinzombo (ZAWA offices), Mfuwe
Post: PO Box 27, Mfuwe
Email: Directors – [email protected], / [email protected]
Telephone: 00260 (0) 216 246 265 / 00260 (0) 974250152 /3