Safe Hands Appeal: Our response to COVID-19 pandemic
We want to respond directly to what is currently happening in Zambia.
Washing our hands regularly with soap and water is a key health message in the battle against COVID-19. But lack of adequate and appropriate facilities means that for many in Zambia, this just isn’t possible. According to 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) more than 36% of Zambia’s population lacked access to safe water and more than 67% lacked access to basic sanitation.
We have launched our Safe Hands Appeal to build permanent hand washing facilities at 18 schools, with space for 18 children to wash their hands at the same time, helping to benefit up to 20,000 children.
We will focus schools in the areas where we work – currently in Chilanga and Chibombo Districts, particularly in the 10 Miles area just outside of Lusaka where our Centre for Excellence is located. This will help ensure that we reach crowded, urban schools that are at higher risk from the spread COVID-19 like Shifwankula Primary and Secondary Schools. It also means we can reach some rural schools that have a lower risk of transmission, but are poorly resourced with even less access to essential services.
We will provide further training to some of our young construction graduates to support this work. New skills means new opportunities for them to earn a living and to provide for their families. Our graduates will help to build these new facilities to improve the health of the children in their communities, both now and in the future.
Will you join us in #BuildingBrighterFutures in Zambia?
After his parents died in 2005 Gosten moved with his young family to Lusaka, where Gosten looked for work as a construction worker. He worked in Lusaka’s building industry for 10 years, but without any building training or qualification, his earning potential remained limited. Gosten was one of the Build It trainees learning new skills while working on the construction of the science labs at Linda Community School.
“Best of all, by the end of my training I had a qualification on paper that I could show clients, so that they’d trust me with their houses” Gosten explains.
“I’m now able to take care of my family without worrying,” Gosten shares. “I’m saving for my own plot to build a big house for them. I love building houses!”
Photo credit: By Jennifer Bruce for Communication for Development Ltd