Zambia, Africa: Family Legacy
Family Legacy exists to connect American families with the orphaned and vulnerable children of Zambia to proclaim the gospel, transform lives, and rescue orphans. We accomplish our mission through our three main ministries: Camp Life, Legacy Academies, and Tree of Life.
Family Legacy has been called to work exclusively with the country of Zambia and specifically with the orphaned and vulnerable children who live there. Zambia is located in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a landlocked country slightly larger than the state of Texas.
There are 15 million people in Zambia and half of them are under the age of 16. This huge number is due to the high death rate from extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Zambia has the 7th highest AIDS infection rate in the world.
The average life expectancy for a Zambian child at the time of their birth is 52 years old – compared to 78 in the US.
46% of Zambia’s population are children ages 14 or younger.
The youth dependency ratio is 91.8%. The youth dependency ratio is the ratio of the youth population (ages 0-14) per 100 people of working age (ages 15-64). A high youth dependency ratio indicates that a greater investment needs to be made in schooling and other services for children.
The average child in Zambia will attend school for only 7 years. Children are the primary caregivers in 25% of all household in Zambia.
Of the 6.5 million children in Zambia, more than 1 million of them are orphaned.
Conditions for these children are nearly impossible. With extremely high unemployment rates, between 64-69% of the population of Zambia must live on less than $1.25 a day.
For every 20,000 people in Zambia, there is only one trained physician – compared to nearly 54 physicians per 20,000 people in the US.
Every day we are working to bring hope to Zambian orphans living in these devastating conditions.
We specifically work to address the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children. In Zambia, there are more than one million orphans – giving it the highest per capita orphan rate in the world.
An orphan is any child who has lost one or more parents through death or abandonment. However there is more than just one kind of orphan. A double orphan has lost both parents and a single orphan has lost just one parent.
There are also social orphans who are abandoned by their parents, family members, or care givers. These children are effective orphaned by society and left to fend for themselves.
When a child is orphaned usually they become the responsibility of a family member or neighbor. Because they are another mouth to feed, these children are usually not welcomed and considered a burden. Many are forced to find their own food and sleep outside.
Theft, rape, and ritual witchcraft are very prevalent in the slums where these children live. If you ask a Zambian child living in the slum compounds of Lusaka when they feel most afraid, you will quickly learn that nighttime is when a child is most fearful.
With most homes having little more than a hanging sheet for a door, it is no wonder that children often struggle with sleeplessness or severe nightmares.
While their life is difficult, they are not without hope. Jesus says in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” We trust that God sees each of these children and is at work to bring change in their lives.