ZAMBIA: Youth receive soap and furniture donation
City of Hope meets needs of youth and their families living in severe poverty.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 23, 2023) Youth with the City of Hope in Lusaka, Zambia, have soap and furniture thanks to donations received by Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The soap donation was provided by Eco-Soap Bank, a humanitarian nonprofit organization working to save, sanitize and supply recycled soap with hygiene education for the developing world. The furniture donation was provided by IRN (the Reuse Network), which matches surplus items with organizations and people who need them. Salesian sisters operate the City of Hope and received the donations in 2022.
Sister Mary John, who is in charge of City of Hope, said, “We received the donation of soap and then distributed it to the sisters, pupils, workers, teachers, women, youth, different congregations and those around the Salesian community. The furniture we shared with our Salesian schools in our community.”
She added, “The donations of soap and furniture have been very useful, and the quality of donations is excellent. Hygiene will always be a priority matter, and the furniture helps us further enhance our learning environment and facilities used by our staff and students. The children are so pleased and excited to use the new furniture and felt very special. We would like to express our sincerest gratitude for the donations.”
One of the recipients of the donation was Michel. His family is poor and he takes additional soap home so his whole family can benefit. He shared with Sr. John how grateful he is for the soap.
Sr. John explained, “Michel is a very intelligent and promising boy, who is a very talented artist. He completed his grade seven in 2022 and he went to another school. However, he still lives in the neighborhood and asks to receive some of the donated items. We are happy to share with him as the Salesian family doesn’t end when the students are no longer attending our schools.”
The 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 and 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.
The 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 between the ages of 7 to 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% of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80%, 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.
Contact: [email protected]