There are about 6,686,000 children in Zambia where they are much
cherished. Most children in Zambia have five siblings, though some
have eleven, and live with their immediate family in extended
family clusters. Sadly, poverty is widespread in Zambia and the
majority of children live on less than 60p a day.
Around half of all
children in Zambia under the age of 5yrs are malnourished. Vitamin
deficiency and anaemia are also widespread. The health care system
is under developed especially in rural areas and this is
compounded by the rural population having limited access to
improved drinking water at just 36%.
The spread of
AIDS/HIV has also affected life in Zambia with one in five children
in the country having lost one or both parents to the disease.
Alarmingly 30,000 children are born HIV-positive each year due to
mother-to-child transmission and an estimated 16% of the adult
population is infected.
Education for children in Zambia is
considered important, with high rates of literacy, and, unlike so
many other countries, there is little gender gap. Unfortunately
there is an ongoing issue with a shortage of teachers so many
children end their education without a firm grasp of key skills,
although the situation has improved following the abolition of
Education itself is
divided into two parts basic education (years 1 to 9), and upper
secondary (years 10 to 12) however a great many children drop out
after year 7 as the free tuition then stops and the cost of
education for large numbers of children in the family becomes
untenable. Children in Zambia,
as in so many African countries, are obsessed with football, however
poverty means that often the football itself is made from old rags
Girls also enjoy the game of Nchuba which is somewhat similar to
jacks and Isolo, a version of checkers.
Despite the value put on children in Zambia, inevitably many
are orphans, not least because of AIDS as detailed above. There
are an estimated 75,000 street children in Zambia, most in the
capital Lusaka and these children are most at risk not least
because the country's constitution only prohibits forced labour
for children under the age of 15rs with a similar age for
trafficking. Once age 15, its quite legal to be trafficked or
financially exploited because at that age children in Zambia
are considered to be adults. And with adulthood, even though
still children, they are expected to undertake adult duties
from marriage, child rearing and farming to support themselves
and their family.
Above is a short video of some children in Zambia who are very
excited by the video camera.