Zambia lies in Southern Africa and has many neighboring countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo in the North, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The country was under British rule, under the name of Rhodesia, and became independent in 1963.zambia1
Population      16.2 million
Life Expectancy     60.8 years
% Of people below poverty line 60.5%
% Of People literate 64%
% HIV-affected individuals (15-49 years)              12.4%

Young Africa Zambia has chosen to focus its initial programming in urban areas of Zambia, in particular in Bauleni township in Lusaka.

“During the copper boom that followed the country’s independence, Zambia’s cities developed quickly and, from a spatial viewpoint, inefficiently... Poverty and the lack of a sustainable housing policy have led to urban growth being absorbed into informal settlements” (World Bank, 2002).

Bauleni is one such formal settlement, widely recognised as one of the largest in Lusaka even though detailed demographics of Bauleni are not easily available. Population estimates range from 45,000 (JICA 1999), 50,000 (World Bank, 2002) to 120,000 (UNICEF, 2016). These statistics also suggest rapid growth in population over the last two decades. However, there is very little statistical data around the Bauleni township in terms of education and health. For this reason, in order to get a clearer picture of the Bauleni area it was necessary to conduct a Listening Survey, talking with youth in the area over the space of one day.

According to the youth living in Bauleni, it can be described as a low-income, highly-populated township. High unemployment levels and lack of secondary and vocational skills education are leading to problems with loitering, substance and alcohol abuse.  Youth start drinking from the age of 15. Local bar owners sell alcohol to them as they need the business. There are many social, economic and environmental problems in Bauleni. There was an outbreak of cholera in 2016 of which Bauleni reported the highest number of cases. Bauleni community water sources are mainly boreholes, one of which was found to be contaminated (UNICEF, 2016). The young people indicated that even through the water isn’t safe, they drink it anyway.

The majority of youth surveyed indicated vague knowledge of HIV/AIDS related services available in Bauleni, but they do not access these services. There is one clinic called the Bauleni Clinic. It needs to be upgraded, most people travel to Chilenje (approximately 7 km from Bauleni) for healthcare. Free condoms are available at the clinic, however most young people are not interested. There is a perceived lack of HIV/AIDS education services in the compound. This type of education is needed, especially for young girls, as HIV/AIDS is seen as a problem even if it is not always talked-about. Young girls, particularly when they are wearing their school uniforms, feel “judged” by certain members of the clinic team when they approach the clinic in Bauleni looking for contraception. This stigmatisation prevents them from accessing the clinic as they believe the social consequences are not worth it. Along with this, Marie Stopes Diva Centre closed in Bauleni in 2017 due to high rental costs. This gives young girls less access to information about and protection from HIV/AIDS in Bauleni.

Almost all individuals spoken to expressed that unemployment is a huge problem in Bauleni. On top of this, there are few, if any, technical training opportunities in the area. Overall, technical and vocational skills training opportunities are desired by youth in Bauleni. A variety of courses can be offered here, there are a wide range of interests. Entrepreneurship is also a requirement, as self-employment is seen as positive but there is a lack of knowledge on very basic entrepreneurship skills. Computer skills are also lacking but are seen by most as very important.

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Young Africa Zambia
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Young Africa International - The Netherlands
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