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ZAMBIA: Share the Light ensures young woman from Salesian City of Joy program is able to continue her nursing studies

(MissionNewswire) Young volunteers with Share the Light – a nonprofit organization created from projects developed by staff and students of the Salesian College Farnborough in the United Kingdom in support of programs in Zambia – know how valuable education is as a tool for changing lives.

Share the Light program manager, Sophie Astles, says, “We were created after a wonderful teacher recognized a need for sponsorship to keep children in school, and while we continue this work and other projects, we also support the City of Joy and the Salesian sisters’ work for women and girls there.”

The City of Joy was created in response to Zambia’s AIDS pandemic which decimated many families, often leaving the eldest sibling as head of the family. The impact of the epidemic, along with abject poverty, left girls and young women particularly vulnerable to abuse.

At the City of Joy, these vulnerable girls are given a loving home where they feel safe and cared for again and where they are encouraged and supported in their education and training.

Share the Light helps to support the medical and nutritional needs of the girls as well as provides clothing, school uniforms and equipment. Having grown in recent years, Share the Light’s work also includes a Scholarship Program, a Porridge Club and assistance at the City of Joy orphanage.

“We also help provide transport to enable groups from the City of Joy to travel out together safely, and we fund the maintenance of fencing to keep their boundaries secure,” adds Astles.

Maureen was one of the first girls to live at the City of Joy. She was also the first to reach grade 12 and finish school. In 2015, she started nursing college but unfortunately, the local community could not find the funds needed to support her as she did not receive a full bursary from the government. This resulted in Maureen having to leave college. In 2016, she managed to obtain some sponsorship and the local community agreed to make up the remainder. However, it once again proved too great a burden, and Share the Light received a request for help.

Share the Light advocates were dismayed to hear of Maureen’s plight and raised enough funds to ensure she can continue her studies. They continue to fundraise to support her until she qualifies as a nurse this year.

“My education is very important to me because it will make my future bright,” says Maureen. “I would like to build an orphanage so that I also can help young ones who have no one to help them. I thank you my sponsors for your support and generosity and I am grateful for the money you have sent to me to finish my studies.”

Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken its toll on Zambia’s children. More than 20,000 households in the country are headed by children whose parents have died because of HIV/AIDS. Many of these young children are desperate for adult support.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Zambia – Support women, support the world

Share the Light

UNICEF – Zambia

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