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Building For Independence - community empowerment Zambia, Africa

Building For Independence

building works programmes“In the event of donor fatigue, at least we have something” Wilson Nyirenda, CEO, SAPEP

Why Build for Independence?

Building for Independence is part of PEPAIDS’ response to the ongoing problem in Zambia of depending on outside help. In 2009, the Chairperson of Zambia’s National AIDS Council said that 80% of funds for HIV/AIDS programmes in Zambia were from donors or corporate partners. Our partner organisation, SAPEP, is currently 100% dependent on donor funding.

Dependence on donor funding has become a threat to sustaining HIV/AIDS programmes in Zambia, because their pulling out would leave serious gaps in interventions as well as on staff retention in rural areas, hence, the need for more local funding (Zambia National AIDS Council (NAC) Joint Mid-Term Review strategic framework for 2006-2008)

PEPAIDS’ aim is to deliver support that enables communities in Zambia and our partner organisation to become sustainable and self-sufficient. Ultimately we want them to be able to manage without us! As we empower people to become independent of outside help, our vision is to be able to move our support on to new communities and address new areas of need.

Building for Independence Philosophy

Building for independence is part of our empowerment plan! Assisting people to build the resources that they need to have hope and a future is another way that PEPAIDS can play its part in the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS. Constantly being dependent on donors and outside help is an uncertain way forward, particularly in the face of turbulent financial and political climates that may cause donors to reduce or withdraw their support. PEPAIDS wants to help people on the ground to secure their futures and carry on living, rather than be left floundering, if events in the wider world cause financial support to the country to stop and start.

What Have We Done So Far?

Examples of projects that Building for Independence includes are:

SAPEP Headquarters- a building for SAPEP to operate and generate income from, even if money for rent dries up. Phase 1, completed October 2010

Hanjalika Project- a training facility on land donated by a local Tribal Chief, where people from community groups in the area can come together to train, share information and collaborate to make the best use of the resources they have! Phase 1 started, August 2008

Water for Communities- a vision to dig bore holes so that people in remote areas can irrigate their land all year round and provide for themselves. Bore holes are important for our community schools as well so that the children can have water and don’t need to walk to another village to get water.

Projects We’d Like to Include:

Play Parks- building play parks next to schools and in communities would be a great way of complimenting our existing outreach and providing a platform from which children can go on to lead prosperous lives and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Children across the whole area in which we work lack opportunities for recreation. Giving young people something to do helps mitigate against HIV/AIDS as they are less likely to indulge in other risky pastimes, such as recreational sex.

Play parks would help address issues such as gender inequality, as boys and girls can play together. Additionally, playing can enhance children's learning like an extension of a classroom and can help children improve academically. Having a play park attached to a school, for example, makes the school more attractive and increases the likelihood of parents sending their children to school, rather than keeping them at home. It has the added benefit that children can use the recreational facilities after school. This can also lead to development of the school as children will be using the play park all the time and this will lead to the community wanting to invest more in the school. Play parks would enable children to learn skills such as team building, communication and so on, as well as having psychosocial benefits.

Volunteer Accommodation– we have plots of land in Monze and Mazabuka that can be developed. Volunteers are key to sustaining and capacity-building our programmes. Having our own SAPEP accommodation to host them is an opportunity to provide the facilities they need and generate vital income.

Completion of the SAPEP Headquarters to Include:

  • More Offices- for SAPEP and for rent to generate income
  • Conference Centre- to facilitate SAPEP activities and also hire out to generate income
  • Resource Library with Internet facilities- lends free HIV/AIDS resources, and hires out other resources to generate income.

How you can Help

Volunteers can get involved on any level- from fundraising for a specific building project, going out to Zambia to help on a project, to leading teams, providing materials and expertise, or researching other organisations that can partner with PEPAIDS to help make our vision reality!

Due to circumstances, we are unfortunately not able to offer volunteer placements in Zambia at Present!


Latest News


George's Marvellous Motorbike!

George Malambo has been one of the most inspirational Zambian Peer Educators of our story. To this day, George has worked hard to do what he can to help the poorest and sickest in his community and further afield, as well as inspiring all of our UK volunteers. So as our parting gesture, PEPAIDS wanted to reward him for 16 years of amazing service.

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