Living Hope Foundation (LIHOF), formerly known as Zambia Shanty Development Organization, is a Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O.) formed on the concept of Love. It was established 1996 in order to participate in community development in view of the many social and economic problems in compounds that are near the town (peri-urban ) and rural dwellings of Zambia.
We commenced our activities in the same year 1996 in Chipata Compound Market in Lusaka. In February, 2000, Mrs. Sharon De Beer-Phanor kindly made available one of her family properties, a double-storey building in Roma Township.
The building was originally intended as a hospice for terminally ill AIDS patients. The property was let to LIHOF on a rent-free basis with the understanding that it would help to provide the community with the following activities.
- Provide education for orphans and other vulnerable children.
- Provide basic health awareness on HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted diseases.
- Transit home/orphanage for children at risk and need of care.
- Survival skills in-tailoring and design, gardening and poultry for the children at the centre and community members who need this kind of training.
In Zambia all children are supposed to get education in grade 1-7,i.e from 7 to 14 years of age. however, the government does not have resources to provide this to all children who are poor to afford a school uniform and would not be led into government school. We want to help such children in giving them education.
Approximately one million children in Zambia are either single- or double-parent orphans. Extended families barely manage to care for these orphans. Some of the children end up as street kids; their experiences go well beyond the daily struggle for food and shelter. They are exposed to dangerous activities such as theft, drugs abuse, sexual abuse, prostitution and human trafficking. Some lucky orphans are cared for by their grandparents, who must raise yet another generation: their grandchildren. But many grandparents do not have the resources needed, either economically or physically. In recent years; abject poverty has also resulted in the illegal emigration of persons to first world countries, especially in Europe, seeking a better life to escape the vicious poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.
We are members of this community that is experiencing devastating trends of high poverty levels and illness (mainly HIV/AIDS-related) resulting in high death rates among young and productive adults and children born to AIDS-infected parents. Consequences include unemployment, high crime rates, homeless children, high dependency rates, breakdowns of family support structures, and an increasing number of AIDS orphans. These are problems that should not be accepted as the norm. As LIHOF we have joined the fight against these negative vices through the organisation mitigation strategies put in place.