ZAMBIA: Students benefit from school furniture
City of Hope receives school furniture donation from IRN (The Reuse Network) made possible by Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 20, 2022) City of Hope, run by the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco in Lusaka, Zambia, received a donation of furniture from IRN (The Reuse Network), which matches surplus items with organizations and people who need them. The 2021 shipment was made possible thanks to the ongoing partnership Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has with IRN.
The furniture will be used to outfit the current school and other outbuildings where educational opportunities are provided to the local community. Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, said, “We appreciate this donation, which allows Salesian students to be educated in an environment conducive to learning. Having school furniture provides a structured environment and enables students to sit comfortably and focus.”
City of Hope was established to meet the needs of youth and their families living in the most severe poverty in Lusaka. The vast majority of children attending City of Hope programs are those who have been abused, live on the streets or are victims of child trafficking.
The City of Hope’s Open Community School serves those suffering from malnutrition, lack of education and family deprivation. Basic education is offered to youth between the ages of 9-17. Primary school classes make up the first four years, after which students take the government’s grade seven examinations. Most City of Hope students do not have the opportunity to attend other schools because of a lack of financial means.
City of Hope also offers a shelter that is home to at-risk girls referred through the social welfare system, the police, and other institutions and organizations. Many have been orphaned and have nowhere else to go. There are currently 36 girls who live at the shelter who are between the ages of 7-22. The shelter is not an orphanage but rather a safe place for girls to stay while they gain an education and make the transition either to living with other family or to a more independent life. To date, more than 150 girls have received services through the City of Hope’s shelter.
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 also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.
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