This year we aim to see:
|Members of the Mawanda Gender Action Group.
© Julianne Stewart/ABM, 2017.
The land-locked Central African nation of Zambia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 6% of girls married by the time they have turned 15 and 31% by the age of 18. This is in spite of 21 being the legal age for marriage. Girls are 10 times more likely to marry before the age of 18 as boys.
Child marriage usually means an end to a girl’s education and her hopes for a better life. It can impact on her health, and many child brides experience domestic violence. Child marriage is often a result of poverty, as it relieves parents of daughters from the financial burden of feeding and educating them into young adulthood. It often has strong support from cultural traditions.
Taking to heart the good news in Genesis that all are made in the image and likeness of God, ABM is passionate about improving life outcomes for women and girls in the work that we do with our partners.
ABM’s church partner, the Zambian Anglican Council Outreach Program (ZACOP), has a mission to end child marriage, and to end the conditions of poverty and ignorance, and the lowly status of women which sustain it. Our Gender & Governance project is currently at work in four large villages in Eastern Zambia.
Combatting gender-based violence requires a multi-pronged approach. ZACOP is educating people about the rights of women and children, and helping them to claim these rights. ZACOP is working with local providers to strengthen services such as refuges for victims of violence. They are training rural people to provide counselling both to victims and perpetrators, and to refer cases to the police. They are forming men’s action networks to encourage men to examine and address the causes of gender-based violence. They are also strengthening the women themselves by giving them access to savings with education groups, and to start small businesses to strengthen their income base.
One such group is called the Angel group in Msoro village. It began in March 2018 with 15 members. Each person is expected to contribute savings each week. Using their savings, the Angel group decided to open up an adult literacy class for parents who want to learn to read and a pre-school for their children. 80 children and 10 parents are enrolled so far each paying a small fee. The Angel group has already engaged three teachers. Since the group also intends to form farming businesses, they have requested the District government to provide them with training in entrepreneurship, and piggery and chicken rearing.
Maureen Daka is from Mzenje village. As a widow with two children, she joined ZACOP’s Gender Action Group in her village. She was trained as a psychosocial counsellor and has been providing counselling services to survivors of Gender-based violence. She says:
“People in the community now know me as the GBV counsellor and approach me any time to give counsel or advice. The coming of this project has not only helped me to help the many people in my community but also it has greatly changed my life and improved the way I handle family issues and relate with my children. Also I am constantly helping out at the clinic where I did my counselling practical and this gives me peace.”
Please give generously to fund more training for people like Maureen, and to provide the resources to help women and girls in Eastern Zambia to end the cycle of poverty and violence.
ZM003GE needs $71,315 in 2019 (tax-deductible)
|This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.|
Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.
Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.
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