Poverty alleviation contribute to sustainable development of the country; with the current treads of COVID 19 pandemic, it is anticipated that the situation will worsen, especially for women and girls. The pandemic will deepen every child’s vulnerability in education, health, water and sanitation, GBV and unpaid household caregiving duties for the girl child. Social protection can help in creating enabling conditions for adolescents to realize their aspiration and rights that allow them to thrive. Luapula Foundation continue to support social protection programs in the following:
Figure 2: Child malnutrition prevention program by promotion of high protein
- Over 500 caregivers had been supported with food packs; the food stuffs provided nutrition to the 523 children at households;
- 523 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo and host communities of Mantapala Settlement in Nchelenge District of Zambia were supported with soya beans and skills on how to process for children malnourished.
- 1253 caregivers with children in early childhood development projects from twelve health facilities in Chingola, Chongwe, Kabwe, Mazabuka and Ndola Districts were provided with knowledge and skills in kitchen gardening, food processing and feeding the children before the age of three.
Supporting households with livelihood skills to build capacities at household level of generating incomes so that they are able to provide for their children and adolescents’ needs. LF will promote entrepreneurial or livelihood skills which will focus on households with vulnerable adolescents including those in social protection to venture into different income generating activities with high potential of giving them better returns. These skills will enable the supported households to earn better incomes and in return have enhanced capacity to support their children and pull themselves out of extreme or chronic poverty. In addressing the needs for the provision of entrepreneurial skills, the following actions will be undertaken:
Women from Eastern Zambia Engaged in Village Banking as way to Raise Capital for Family Businesses
- 1, 341 women and young adults were equipped with skills value addition and marketing of products in Chingola and Ndola Districts;
- 12,003 adolescents were equipped with skills in how to identify business opportunities and implement to improve their families;
- 241 caregivers trained in local resources mobilization through weekly meetings ‘banking’;
Health services will have a public health focus to promote a children and adolescents enabling environment for human development. Capacity building the health frontier staffs shall remain a priority at Luapula Foundation to combat HIV and COVID 19 infections.
Figure 3: Health Facility Staff Training
- Over 30,000 adolescents equipped with knowledge and skills in prevention and care in HIV;
- 631 caregivers in early childhood development supported with information and skills on COVID 19 prevention;
- 157 health workers trained in health promotion program management to control communicable diseases;
- Over 29, 687 clients provided counseling and testing service to over 29, 687 clients;
- Over 2,727 children accessing protection services against all forms of abuse;
- 16, 296 received Abstinence and Being Faithful HIV prevention messages through life skills clubs
Early Learning and Responsive Caregiving
Out of the estimated 18 million persons in Zambia, 20% are an estimated population of under-five children. Children in the early years, who receive appropriate and adequate health care, nutrition, and stimulation in a secure safe environment characterized by responsive care giving grow up to be healthier, more educated adults with better economic and social outcomes in life. The delays in physical growth, social and emotional connectivity and intellectual development are often irreversible and with sometimes long-term consequences. Health indicators for children in Zambia, show that:
Figure 4: Health Staff Working with Caregiver in ECD
- Over 1500 children have been registered and birth certified in Chingola, Kabwe and Ndola District; in 2022, an estimated 800 children will be registered and birth certified with support from Luapula Foundation and its partners;
- 831 from birth to age 3, exposed to HIV have been reached through their caregivers in Zambia;
- 1502 caregivers have been reached with knowledge and skills in children feeding, play and communication, prevention of illnesses and injuries as they support children with thriving activities;
- 631 health workers and community-based volunteers have been trained in how to support and mentor caregivers in early childhood development and advocating for children services in the local health facilities;
Humanitarian and Emergency Services:
Preventing and preparing for human-induced crises and natural disasters through saving lives, alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity. Humanitarian services will be focused on emergency services such as restoration of food security and livelihoods in the affected communities; these programs in line with Sphere Standards of Care. The services provided by LF staff shall be human, impartial, neutral and independent. The works will conform to the nine Core of Humanitarian Standard (CHS).
Figure 5: Luapula Foundation Emergency Response Support to Refugees in Zambia
The Framework aims to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent risks through action that tackles the underlying disaster and conflict risk drivers such as fighting for leadership positions.
The beneficiaries will be involved in the ‘Response to emergency cycle’ that include stages of preparedness, response, rehabilitation, recovery and mitigation. Luapula Foundation will conduct comprehensive resource mobilization and leverage on partnerships with like-minded and other networks in restoration of Food Security and Livelihoods sectors. In 2018, Luapula Foundation:
- Over 500 households were enrolled and supported with food security and livelihood programs in Mantapala Settlement, in Nchelenge District of Zambia;
- Luapula Foundation mobilized the host communities to support the refugee settlement with assets such as land for crop planting. Over 500 households received local chickens for rearing, fruits plants such as avocados and mangoes;
- Luapula Foundation provided over eight tones of soya beans; trained refugees in processing and demonstrated how to prepare food for children aged 5; over 1000 households benefited.
- Luapula Foundation trained households in construction and use of fuel efficient stoves made out of local materials; over 500 households constructed and reduced cutting down of trees;
Zambia population is estimated to be at 18 million with 53% of the population below the age of 18 (ZDHS, 2018). Children experiences violence in different setting from home, schools including institutions mandated to protect them. Being exposed to any sort of violence being physical, sexual and emotional is traumatic to a child. Such experiences in childhood impedes a child’s brain development and is associated with future violence, victimization and perpetuation. Child protection issues in Zambia stands at:
Figure 6: One by three classroom block built by Luapula Foundation to End Child Marriage in Katete District in 2020-21
- Only 18% of children in Zambia have birth certificates;
- 29% of girls below the age 18 are pregnant or already have a baby (ZDHS),
- 29% women were married before the age of 18;
- 14% of women aged 20-24 years experienced sexual violence in their childhood;
Luapula Foundation supports child protection interventions across all spheres of children’s developmental needs through reducing child marriage and addressing violence intervention, support to increase the number of children registered who have been issued birth certificates and supporting positive parenting initiatives.
- Over 256 girls went back to school and supported with educational supplies in Katete and Luwingu Districts in Zambia to influence learning;
- Luapula Foundation has equipped one school each in Katete and Luwingu Districts with solar equipment to light and power the computers and television sets for learning of the girls;
- Luapula Foundation extended grades 10, 11 and 12 classrooms to facilitate girls to stay within their families as they access education in high school. Katete District extending of grades 10 to 12 classes was completed in 2021; and in 2022, Luapula Foundation will extend grades 10 to 12 classrooms.
- 2, 727 children and adolescents participating in child rights projects;
Zambia has been affected with climate change and human activities have been the main drivers of climate change. The most common activity in Zambia has been the cutting and burning trees to turn into charcoal. The consequences of this has been a number of disasters that include flooding and drought. Children’s lives are easily disrupted by such occurrences due to their vulnerability. This might include school attendance disruptions due to flooded areas or health related challenges like malnutrition and stunting due to hunger and food shortages propelled by such disasters.
Figure 7: Caregiver uses Fuel Efficient Local Stove Constructed by Luapula Foundation (2019)
Further such disasters have led to displacements and consequential rise in poverty as people loose source of livelihoods. LF has been working in Humanitarian Emergency services that works (and will continue to work) with the Government Disaster Management Unit and other humanitarian actors to conduct an assessment, analysis, monitoring of protection issues associated with crisis such as internal displacement, conflict, floods and drought.
LF will make a contribution to the Disaster Risk Reduction by ensuring that children and beneficiaries are involved in assessments and response programming. LF will make available necessary technical support to staff in identified disaster prone areas to ensure that the safety of the children is upheld, children have access to services, such as health, mental health, psychosocial support, education and basic needs (food, water and recreation facilities) in the event of a disaster. LF will engage in the prevention of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable children if they are dependent on a threatening caregiver. In the event of disaster response, LF will ensure appropriate mobilization of the different partners to respond. LF will ensure that Humanitarian principles and Humanitarian laws are upheld in responses mitigate child rights violations including deliberate abuse, exploitation deprivation, neglect or discrimination that prevents children from accessing a means of survival with dignity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Children and adults are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse from aid workers due to their high economic status. The onset of COVID 19 pandemic and consequent rise in child and adult abuse cases has reminded stakeholders of the need to tight safeguarding mechanism. LF will build capacity of all staff and affiliates in the safeguarding protocols and the code of conduct that has been established, using the LF contextualized safeguarding policy which will include child and adult beneficiaries, addressing sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). Safeguarding Focal point persons will be appointed all programs, to ensure that cases are quickly identified and mitigated. All cases of child and adult beneficiaries will be investigated and responded to in accordance with the National Laws.
Beneficiaries and staff will have an opportunity and a platform to be able to whistle blow any cases or suspected of the breach of cases of safeguarding, this can be through a hotline which will be provided by LF or by receiving information from the community. Community Feedback and complaints mechanisms will be established in the communities, through the setting up of the suggestion boxes, community meetings and focus group discussions. The feedback mechanisms will be developed together with the communities, so that they will be able to speak into the design process and to develop feedback mechanisms that are friendly to the most vulnerable women, girls, boys and men. LF will work closely with other Projects partners and the clinics, in the communities that have feedback mechanisms in place so that the same processes can be used in order to have a harmonized feedback mechanism in the communities.
This Strategic plan proposes to address gender attitudes and norms that contribute to the abuse or exploitation of children in the community like the bias of household chores that mainly are expected of girls compared to boys. Such a bias is a disadvantage to girl’s schooling. Girls’ participation in decision making both at household and community level regarding their education, personal development and violence, they face at home and in the communities.
Figure 8: Luapula Foundation Staff Holding Meeting to Explore Gender Dynamics
Society places emphasis on respecting and promoting the human dignity of both boys and girls and the physical and psychological integrity of both boys and girls as rights-holders. Every child is recognized, respected and protected as a rights holder and as a unique and valuable human being with an individual personality, distinct needs, interests and privacy. This will be achieved by utilizing the different core models like Confidence Model, Support, Mentoring and Advocacy Model and Community-Led Monitoring Model.
Through the various models, such as Confidence Model, Support, Mentoring and Advocacy (SMA) and Community-Led Monitoring Model, Luapula Foundation will, for example, facilitate initiatives such as children’s (especially girls) participation in Savings Groups; and behaviour change campaigns against gender insensitive cultural practices which violate children’s rights. The gender transformative approach aims at changing gender norms through critical reflection. This approach will seek to question attitudes, practices and social norms that create and reinforce gender stigma and vulnerabilities which affect production and development in most communities.
People with disabilities are equal citizens. However, at the moment they face social stigma, exclusion, and are extremely vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Disasters, be it natural or human-induced have a greater affect people with disabilities more than others LP will engage and collaborate with organisations working with people with disabilities.
LF envision a society in which people with disabilities enjoy equal rights and opportunities to participate in economic, social and cultural life; have choice and control over how they live their lives and are enabled to reach their full potential.
LF will provide research-informed advice to stakeholders to guide the development and implementation of national policies, programmes and strategies relevant to the lives of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, LF will endeavor to understand and advise on societal changes, challenges and opportunities that impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. LF will work to promote and monitor the implementation of Codes of Practice, standards and guidelines, policy and practice on people with special needs. LF will build awareness and promote disability-friendly infrastructure. LF will advocate child friendly and disability infrastructures.
Historically, children have been perceived as recipients rather than active participants in the processes that affect their lives. This has not just been true to our cultural setting but have also been institutionalized in the modern systems and approaches through set standards which demand qualifications and characteristics beyond childhood. However, meaningful development requires participation of all stakeholders, including children. Encouraging children to become actively involved in making decisions can be far-reaching. When children are given the opportunity to identify the problems that affect their lives and, most importantly, find and implement the solutions, their self-confidence is built and encourages them to value the positive impact they can have on the lives of others. Luapula Foundation values child participation because children contribute to influencing their communities to be more responsive in addressing the needs of children in areas such as Health, Education, Food Security and Livelihood.
The participation of children establishes a new paradigm to the status of children and young people by recognising them as a subject of rights. In addition, child participation will increase children’s resilience as their inward self is strengthened through existing initiatives such as saving groups. Child participation will therefore be taken into account throughout the operationalization of this strategic plan, including design, assessment implementation and monitoring stages in alignment with the LF Child Participation guidelines. This will ensure space, voice, influence and audience are intentionally provided for children to be heard and take action on issues that affect their lives. At the design stage for programs, focus group discussions for children, including those of diverse backgrounds will be held on issues affecting their well-being using child friendly tools.