The landlocked nation of Zambia, in southern Africa, is home to impressive wildlife preserves and the spectacular Victoria Falls. Sadly, the former British colony is also one of the poorest nations in the region. Its poverty and AIDS problem have led to soaring child labor cases.
Almost three-quarters of Zambian child laborers are under age 15, according to surveys conducted by the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency. They are street hawkers, domestics, and farm workers. Increasing numbers of children crush stones.
New York Times reporter Michael Wines describes a 9-year-old stone crusher named Alone. His mother died years ago and his father left the scene. Alone lives with his grandmother, sleeping on a cement floor in one room without electricity or running water. In order to eat, at dawn, before school, and every afternoon, he pounds stone into gravel and dust. The dust is sold as a mixer for cement.
Despite his grueling labor, he is malnourished, standing just under four feet.
SOS Children's Villages in Zambia to Help Save Children Like Alone.
Half of Zambia's child workers are, like Alone, exposed to hazardous substances such as dust, fumes, or gas. SOS Children's Villages, a charity that provides loving homes, an education, and medical care to children in 132 countries, is in Zambia to give children a brighter future.
For children who are orphaned or whose parents are unable to feed them, SOS Children's Villages-Zambia offers loving SOS mothers, a secure home, and a supportive community in which to grow and thrive.
Working to Keep Families Together
But SOS does more than raise children. The charity also operates kindergartens, schools, clinics, and counseling centers open to local families in need. SOS's goal is to keep families intact whenever possible. SOS family strengthening programs, run through SOS social centers, educate fragile families about AIDS prevention. SOS staff also teach families parenting skills and offer advice on how to start small businesses.
SOS Children's Villages-Zambia is located in Kitwe, Lusaka, and Livingstone.
It doesn't take a lot of money to keep a Zambian child from being another child labor statistic. Sponsor an SOS child today.
Since its founding in 1949, SOS Children's Villages (sos-usa.org) has expanded to 500 villages in 132 countries. Currently raising over 80,000 children in villages and through many education, family strengthening, medical, and outreach programs, SOS Children's Villages impacts the lives of over 1 million people each year.