Zambia's first president, Kenneth
David Kaunda pursued this route and his socialist policies severely damaged the
country's economy and infrastructure which was already under resourced at the
time of independence. By 1991 civil unrest forced multi party elections with
Frederick Chiluba becoming president. Today Zambia is a relatively stable
multi-party democracy although serious challenges face the
Such challenges include widespread poverty, low life expectancy of 49yrs not
least because of the high prevalence of AIDS and the high numbers of orphans in
the country ~ 30% of all children in Zambia under the age of 15 are orphans.
Many of them head towards urban areas simply to survive by begging, forced
labour and/or sexual exploitation. One fifteen year old boy described the
lifestyle: "I have lived like this since 2001 when my parents died. I sleep in
ditches. If I see people carrying plastic bags, I ask to help. They give
anything, maybe 1,000 kwacha [UK 18p], maybe more."
There is so much work needed to
be undertaken with children in Zambia to get them off the streets into safe
environments, into school so that they can get an education and to develop a
better awareness of HIV/AIDS. For more information about Zambia check our
profile pages below.