Zambia – Kanyama Community Center offers hope

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A nurse weighs one of the children in the Army’s health program at the Kanyama Community Center.

The Kanyama Corps Community Center in Lusaka is an oasis of hope. Surrounded by an unplanned settlement of 370,000 people who live in one or two room homemade dwellings, with no running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing, the Center offers health, educational, and spiritual resources.

Included on the compound are a corps of 600 adults and youth, a pre-school of 150, a primary school of 390, nutrition program, feeding program, micro credit program, children’s clinic, and an antenatal clinic.

Corps Officers Lts. Brighton and Angela Hachitapika had been layworkers at the Chikankata Mission for 10 years before entering training. Brighton, a former teacher and son of officer parents, has a degree in social work; Angela is a nurse. They have two daughters ages 6 and 10.

Zambia“Kanyama has been a success story,” says Brighton. “It’s being used as a basis for establishing other similar programs.” The Salvation Army is well respected by government, people, and other social providers, he notes.

The location and focus of the center is the result of a needs survey conducted five years ago by The Salvation Army and UNICEF that determined education and health needs were the greatest in this location.

The antenatal program, for example, cares for 200 expectant mothers and children up to age five a month. “Malnutrition and malaria are major problems,” says nurse Ethel Banda. The government provides nurses and vaccines without charge to the Army.

Buildings are in use continually. The pre-school runs from 8-12 a.m.; in the afternoon, the facility is used for skills training. On Sunday it is used for church.

The cost of running all programs is $1,000 a month; most comes from World Service giving or non-governmental agencies, including NORAD (Norway Agency for International Development) and the European Union.

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