Infant and maternal mortality, and early marriage rates are among the highest in the world, putting a strain on government finances. Compounding these problems is the high prevalence of HIV, which has left 380,000 children without parents.

Youth in Zambia
More than 60 per cent of Zambians live in poverty, making it hard for young people to carve out a positive future for themselves.

An over-dependence on the copper mining sector left the country vulnerable and many people face unemployment as a result of sharp falls in copper prices on the world market. The situation is particularly challenging for young people with one in every four out of work.

Levels of violence against women are amongst the highest in Southern Africa with around half of all women having experienced physical violence. The problem is particularly prevalent in the country’s city slums where high rates of unemployment and poor living conditions lead to widespread alcohol abuse.

Our work in Zambia
Zambia YMCA was established in 1958 and Y Care International has worked with them since 2004. We initially helped the YMCA build strong, effective systems and train staff in effective youth work, before supporting their work with street children and young people in Zambia’s capital city Lusaka.

We have also worked with YWCA Zambia since 2012, supporting work to help young people stay healthy and promote youth-friendly health services. We now work with them to address violence against young women. This critical work is further strengthened by the legal expertise of Women and Law in Southern Africa.

Zambia – Country In Profile


Enterprise & Employability

Young women fight back against violence in Zambia’s slums


At Zambia YMCA's safe spaces, young women can talk about issues affecting them, train in skills to find a job, and learn to save money so they can lead independent lives free from violence. Photo: Leila Varley/YCI

Health and wellbeing

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