ChildFund International in Zambia

Zambia, in southeastern Africa, is a large, sparsely populated country, with 46 percent of its population under the age of 15. Rural poverty and unemployment are significant problems. The nation faces several challenges, including more than 1.2 million people living with HIV and 380,000 children 17 and younger who were orphaned by AIDS. The Zambian economy grew gradually over the past decade, but in the past two years, low copper prices and poor harvests related to El Niño weather patterns have negatively impacted the economy.

ChildFund has served children in Zambia since 1983.

In Zambia, Youth Work to Fill Nursing Shortage

ChildFund’s program to train more nurses in Zambia will graduate its first class of students next year, helping ease a major shortage of health care workers.

ChildFund President & CEO Anne Lynam Goddard recently visited students in the Zambia Nurse and Life Skills Training project, which has put standardized nursing curriculum online, so students can work on computers and tablets. They’re still required to attend certain classes and workshops in person for technical topics, lab work and hospital rounds.

Aside from helping unemployed youth train for jobs as registered nurses, the program also addresses a severe lack of nurses across the country. The MasterCard Foundation has provided $7.6 million in funding for the program, which ChildFund is implementing with Amref Health Africa, the General Nursing Council and the Ministry of Health, in a partnership started in 2012. This group will continue working together through 2018, and then the Ministry of Health will be responsible for running this project.

The program includes education in decision-making, conflict resolution and other skills that will help students find and retain jobs after graduation.

Next year, the first cohort of students will graduate, and because of health care employee shortages nationwide, they all expect to find employment within the Ministry of Health. The program’s goal is to train 2,000 new nurses.

Location: Luangwa, Zambia