About the project

These projects are designed to bring young people together, build self-esteem, develop life skills and help them learn about and tackle issues such as gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, safe sexual practice and the impact of early marriage and pregnancy.

In addition to this, training will be given in areas such as literacy, business skills and paralegal skills to help young people set up businesses and tackle injustices.

The country’s history

Zambia is currently ranked 144 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, education and income. Although the economy has improved in recent decades, many families still live in poverty and face problems such as gender-based discrimination. 60% of Zambians live in poverty, making it difficult for young people to make a decent future for themselves. 39% of young people in Zambia have not completed basic education. 36% of young women are not enrolled in secondary education, compared to 19% young men.

Women in Zambia experience high levels of marginalisation and discrimination, have fewer land rights have difficulties obtaining back loans. Under Zambian law, it is legal to marry a female child once she reaches puberty. One of the biggest problems is Gender Based Violence (GBV), which had been described by the Poverty Reduction Strategy as a “significant invisible threat”. The 2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey found that 47% of women aged 15-49 had experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence since the age of 15. 65% of perpetrators were current husbands or partners. According to reports from the Zambian Victim Support Unit, 21,504 cases of GBV were reported in 2017. Yet studies continue to show that many Zambian women believe that a husband is justified in hitting his wife in certain circumstances.

How are we helping?

We are working with young men and women in slum areas on two projects to improve life conditions and opportunities for young people. Through our “Karate For A Better Life” initiative, young men and women in Kalingalinga and Lusaka – including many who have dropped out of school – are learning karate as a means of self-expression and discipline. Martial arts are a proven ancient method for developing your mind, body and spirit. Those who learn these techniques can benefit in several areas of life. Participants will also receive training in business and life skills.

Meanwhile, our “Empowering young female slum dwellers to tackle GBV in Lusaka” project operates in two Lusaka slums (Linda and George compounds). This project targets both young women who are survivors of or are vulnerable to GBV, and young men who are perpetrators or at risk of becoming perpetrators of GBV.

Through this project, young people are given space to come together to discuss issues, build confidence and broaden their knowledge of GBV and HIV so that they can make informed decisions and reduce vulnerability. Training and mentoring is given in life skills and business skills to help participants become economically independent. Legal training is also provided to local volunteers so that they can offer community support.

The projects are delivered in partnership with Zambia YMCA and YWCA.

What do we hope to achieve?

  • 200 young people trained in karate, life skills and business skills

  • 2,000 community members engaged through “Karate For A Better Life” outreach and community campaigns

  • 2,000 young women who are either survivors or vulnerable to GBV reached through our GBV project

  • 400 young men who are perpetrators or at risk of becoming perpetrators reached through GBV project

  • 17,000 community members informed about the effects of GBV through peer-to-peer education, door-to-door sensitisation or awareness-raising events

  • 35 volunteers trained as paralegals to provide support to those who experience GBV

YMCA Zambia- Young children

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