There is a critical need to use a gender perspective when addressing the socio-economic barriers faced by young people living in poverty. That’s why we’re using karate as a platform to challenge gender stereotypes and develop lifelong skills.

Karate coaches participating in demonstration Karate coaches participating in a project demonstration

Our research in Zambian slums shows that most young women have not completed their education and 76% surveyed do not earn an income. A lack of education and financial mobility are contributory factors in gender-based violence which is among the highest levels in southern Africa.

How we are helping

In collaboration with YWCA Zambia and YMCA Zambia, this project aims to improve the social inclusion of 360 young women and men who have dropped out of school in the Kalingalinga slum in the capital of Lusaka using karate as a platform to challenge gender stereotypes and develop lifelong skills.

What we hope to achieve:

  • Increased confidence and self-empowerment through karate with sessions led by a female Karate Coach
  • Leadership training for young people to become peer leaders in life skills and gender equality to pass on their knowledge to peers and communities
  • Improved financial and business skills
  • Increased access to income generation and economic opportunities through  motivational sessions with business guest speakers and support in developing business plans
  • Promote respectful relationships and active citizenship through community campaigns on gender-based violence

“Levelling the Field” is a partnership initiative funded by Comic Relief and the Scottish Government. “Levelling the Field” aims to empower women and girls to reach their full potential through the power of sport, both in the UK and internationally.


More about our work here

Karate coaches participating in demonstration


Zambia is now classed as a middle income country, but many families continue to face a daily struggle against rising food prices, poverty, and weak governance.

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