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Poverty Alleviation Projects

2007 Projects

January 9, 2007

Welcome to your January 2007 report for The $10 Club. Happy New Year!

Milda is a twenty-two year old woman with a five month old baby girl named Kristin. She lives in Ngombe Township in Lusaka, Zambia with her mother, brother, and two sisters. Milda’s father has left the home. Milda attended school up to the ninth grade but because her father no longer lives with them her family had no money to continue sending her to school. Kristin’s father is nowhere to be found, so it is up to Milda to raise her daughter.

At nineteen Rhoda became pregnant with her now two year old daughter, Annelis. Annelis’ father has run away and Rhoda continues to live with both her parents in Ngombe. Rhoda did not have many options for her future.

The Chikumbuso Project began in January 2005 with one widow and her seven orphan children. The program is based in Ngombe Township, targeting widows, orphans and grandmothers whose lives have been changed by the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS. This Township has a population of 92,000 in an area of approximately 12,000 square meters. Forty five percent of this population is women and another 32 percent is children.

Chikumbuso realized the enormous need for help in this community of women and began a program to offer them counseling and classes in tailoring, cooking, literacy and baby care, as well as provide a catalyst for HIV discussions and support groups.

Within the past five years the HIV/AIDS pandemic has quickly escalated to traumatizing levels resulting in an entire generation of children being left without parents and in the care of a surviving relative. Zambia has been deeply affected, with over sixteen percent of the population now HIV positive. Today, over fifty percent of all Zambian children have lost one parent and seventy-five percent of families in the country are caring for at least one orphan. By the year 2010 there is projected to be one million orphans in Zambia.

Only 11 nations in the world are listed below Zambia on the UN Human Development Index. Life expectancy at birth in Zambia is 37; per capita annual income is around $2 a day; half the population lacks access to an improved water source; and half the people are underweight for their age.

This year Chikumbuso has decided to add a specific project for single moms between the ages of 15 and 24. Statistically, these women are at the highest risk of becoming infected with HIV. They are uneducated about the dangers and reality of HIV and suffer greatly because of their lack of basic knowledge about prevention and treatment.

Chikumbuso has recently purchased a new building and is in the process of turning it into newer, larger classrooms for their school and a community house. Attached to the building are two rooms that are being transformed into a work area for the single mothers project. This room will be used to provide a space where literacy classes, HIV awareness talks, and skills training will be held. The class will include training in sewing, preparation of formula for their infants who are not able to breastfeed, the preparation of healthy and affordable food, and life skills.

This month, 350 of us joined together to donate $3,500 to the Chikumbuso project to expand their building and enhance their efforts to help Zambian women in need. Our funds will be used to upgrade the building by providing cement, timber, sand, stones, cement blocks, roofing, doors, door frames, window frames and glass. Additionally, we’ll be able to provide them with five new sewing machines, a variety of sewing materials, and kitchen utensils. Thank you.

This program plays a very important role in the lives of these women. Miriam, a 20 year old woman involved in the program depends greatly on the Chikumbuso project and without it would have no way to support herself. Miriam’s parents are both dead and she lives with her grandmother and 2 brothers in a one room “house” in Ngombe. She no longer attends school. The project is already giving Miriam a place where she can find help and support as she deals with the problems faced by women her age. Chikumbuso has given her hope for the future and the ability to learn skills that will enable her to support herself and provide for her family.

After being with the group for two months Miriam’s baby died of AIDS. When she was visited by Chikumbuso staff her greatest concern was that she would not be allowed to continue with the group since she was no longer a mother. She was reassured that their goal was to help women like her build a better future. And thanks to you and your generosity this month, the organization will be in a position to assist Miriam and many other women in desperate need for years to come.

When I told Chikumbuso project manager Linda Wilkinson of our grant she replied, “Zikomo Kwabiri,” the local phrase for “thank you so much!” And so I say to you, for your kindness this month, Zikomo Kwabiri!

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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