Chikumbuso - Women and Orphans Project
Contact person: Linda Wilkinson
- Aid organization
- Educational policy/project
- Commune, community project
- Volunteers are welcome.
Chikumbuso - Women and Orphans Project, founded in 2005 by Linda Wilkinson, a grassroots project located in Ng’ombe compound, Lusaka, Zambia, provides hope and opportunity to some of the most vulnerable women and children in the township.
Chikumbuso provides free schooling for the children, as well as adult training and capacity building, income generating activities and community building programs.
Chikumbuso means Remembrance. We remember those who have died, where we come from and to do for others.
• Micro-Enterprise: In late 2004, Linda Wilkinson approached a group of widows living in Ng’ombe. Their families had been decimated by the HIV/AIDS crisis and they found themselves without any means for earning money to care for their ever-growing households. They nursed and buried their children and relatives and took in grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The first priority for the group became finding a means of making money. They had little formal education and leaned on artistic skills. The handbag project began with just a few recycled Shoprite bags, a crochet hook and a pair of scissors. Today, the group has grown to 45 widows and 25 at risk youth making beautiful handcrafted items. Their skills as artists and entrepreneurs have grown through various classes ranging from learning about color and design to financial training for both their personal and professional lives. English training has helped the women continue learning even though they dropped out of formal education many, many years ago. Their confidence has increased tremendously; they regularly attend local fashion shows and often find themselves speaking to organizations about the project and how they can help.
• Grandmother Outreach: Respect for the elderly is one of the most beautiful traditions of Zambian life. Chikumbuso remembers to give back to 20 elderly in our community with a monthly food stipend containing mealie meal, cooking oil and candles. Chikumbuso provided energy efficient rocket stoves to our elderly to cut the economic burden and environmental impact of charcoal use in daily cooking. Each are visited by an assigned caregiver twice monthly (sometimes more often) for encouragement and companionship.
• Educating Children:. In 2006, Chikumbuso opened the school with 30 students. Today, there is a full Grade 1-6 program educating nearly 300 students with about 150 sent to higher grades at other local schools at no cost to them or their family. In addition to receiving a quality education at no cost, Chikumbuso provides a daily nutritious meal of nshima or rice, a protein and a green vegetable. Healthy minds and full stomachs do better in school. Often this may be the student’s only meal of the day.
• Safe Haven: Chikumbuso operates two Safe Havens, places where we provide food, clothing, and shelter to some very vulnerable children who find themselves in circumstances that will either end or sidetrack their education.
Linda Wilkinson is the Founder of Chikumbuso - Women and Orphans Project.
For other net participants we can offer an expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the field of our work.