The objective of this project is to provide milk for orphaned and undernourished babies in the impoverished Lukulu District, Zambia.
The people of Lukulu in Zambia suffer great deprivations in comparison to the rest of the country. This remote region can only be accessed by one very poorly maintained dirt road spanning 200kms to the nearest tarred surface. The population is currently around 96,000 and the poverty level stands at 98%.
The Baby Milk project was initiated in 2006 when a Zambian medical superintendent at the local hospital requested assistance from the Loreto Sisters to help save the lives of four orphaned babies. Since the project’s inception, the lives of hundreds of babies have been saved by the provision of milk formula. Breastfeeding is considered paramount where possible. Only the babies of those mothers who cannot breastfeed for a medical reason or who have insufficient breast milk to provide adequate nutrition for the baby are admitted into the program.
The project has helped to save the lives of hundreds of babies who would have had no access to milk formula needed to survive. With 17% of the Zambian population HIV positive, many babies are unable to be breast-fed by their mothers after the age of 6-monthsdue to the mother-to-child transmission risk.
Twins, Ruth and Robert, were referred to the baby milk program aged two months. Their mother was seriously ill, unable to breastfeed, and then suddenly passed away. The twins were then cared for by their grandmother and grand aunt. The women walked 12 km from their village every two weeks to collect milk. The babies were finally discharged from the baby milk program aged one year and seven months, growing well.
Providing formula milk to orphan and malnourished babies
Weighing and monitoring the babies’ weights
Health workers visit and check on mothers and babies
Referrals to the program from the hospital
Presently, 90 babies are enrolled in the program, receiving life-supporting milk supplements
MWIA donors who have provided ongoing support to this project can see the positive results, as children who first entered the program years ago are now leading happy and healthy lives
Vehicle support for the Integrated Health Care Support Program
Since arriving in East Africa in 1921, the Loreto Sisters have supported the local community through spiritual ministries, education, health and pastoral work.
The objective of this project is to provide ongoing transport for all aspects of the Primary Health Care Support Program in Lukulu. A dispersed and impoverished rural-based population, together with an under resourced Ministry of Health, has created an ongoing need to provide mobile health and pastoral care.
The Integrated Health Care Support Program (IHCSP) commenced in 1998 in direct response to needs expressed by the community, volunteers and the local Ministry of Health. Lukulu is a remote and impoverished district in Zambia, with no infrastructure and minimal access to health facilities, schools, clean water and sanitation. It has no tarred roads, only sand tracks through bushland. Providing reliable transport enables many to finally have access to primary health care. Support is primarily given through a home-based care (HBC) program. The vulnerable are visited by nurses and transported to hospital for urgent care or referral.
Transporting the sick to and from the local district hospital
The vehicle is assisting the IHCSP to educate villagers about COVID-19 and its prevention, and to distribute soap
Transporting nurses, caregivers and medicines for home visits
Enabling access to specialist treatment at Chitokoloki Mission Hospital (4 hour’s drive)
Transporting pregnant mothers in need of emergency maternal health
Delivering milk to distribution points at Rural Health Centres for carers of orphaned or vulnerable babies to access
Daily food delivered to malnourished children
Generating income through the sale and distribution of soya bean supplies
Raising funds through a tuckshop selling goods, ensuring the HBC is now self-sustainable. It is voluntarily operated, and the vehicle is used to transport goods
Transporting solar panels for installation at the Health Care Centre
Those who directly benefit include:
120-150 vulnerable people (mostly women) every year, who are sick or in childbirth and unable to get to a hospital on their own
Approximately 30 caregivers transported to visit people living in remote locations
Orphaned and vulnerable babies reliant on the milk programme (up to 100 annually) who receive milk and medicine transported by the vehicle
Impoverished disabled children and adults who are transported to access specialist treatment, otherwise unavailable to them
Housebound disabled seniors including those living with leprosy. These citizens are transported to Church every Sunday and otherwise could not attend. This is often the only social outlet for them
LukuluTeacher Scholarship and Community School Support
The Loreto Sisters have been working with these rural community schools since 2006, and along with the Ministry of Education, have constructed classroom blocks and teacher housing, provided in-service and formal teacher training and financial support to untrained teachers to complete Grade 12.
This project will provide educational training and vital resources to community schools within the Lukulu and Mitete districts – the only existing schools for children to complete their primary education. Education is an essential key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
The Lukulu people have identified primary education as the most effective means of bringing about development for their communities. When no government schooling is available, many rural communities start their own schools to educate their children. As community schools are gradually absorbed into the mainstream government system, more are initiated by communities desperate to have their children educated. This project will provide teacher training, educational resources and necessary infrastructure for the schools.
Many schools initiated by rural village communities lack trained teachers. The objective of this project is to train volunteer teachers from rural community schools in the Lukulu and Mitete Districts over a period of five years. The teachers would obtain a Diploma in Primary Education by studying for three years at Mongu College of Education (MCE), a college affiliated with the University of Zambia.
A condition of participating in the teacher training project is that the teacher graduates return to Lukulu District to teach voluntarily in a rural community school. In due course, they will be employed by the government to teach within this same Western Province, the most impoverished province in Zambia. This has recently become government policy.
Provide financial assistance to support potential student teachers obtaining the Grade 12 certificate
Assist with applications to Mongu College of Education – affiliated with the University of Zambia
Regularly monitor students’ progress and manage consequences should students not meet guidelines
Recent project achievements
14 teachers are currently sponsored at MCE
Drilling of a borehole at Mukolisho community school
Desks, blackboards, chairs and tables distributed
44 community schools provided with basic teaching stationery and resources
Basic stationery supplied to the most vulnerable students
Loreto has already helped train teachers and provide resources to 44 community schools in Lukulu
Trained teachers and improvement in the level of literacy and numeracy of primary students has enhanced the possibility that more students will progress to secondary education
Join us today in helping children to reach their potential and unlock poverty.
The goal of this project is to feed orphans and vulnerable children attending the local school. This will improve the students’ concentration and academic performance, reduce nutrition-related disease and help prevent early pregnancy.
St Columba’s Secondary School has 450 pupils, the majority of whom come from impoverished communities in Lukulu township and rural villages in the most remote and least developed parts of Zambia. Many of the children are vulnerable orphans from districts scattered across a vast area with little infrastructure.
A lunch feeding program will ensure students can concentrate and remain at school until the end of the school day at 5pm. This may be the only meal for the day for those from impoverished homes. Some pupils camp in shacks in Lukulu township and try to find work after school and on the weekend to pay for rent and buy food. When work cannot be found, hunger is evident during lessons. Some students opt to miss school in order to pursue odd jobs to survive. Providing students with a meal at lunchtime will reduce truancy, improve academic performance, and prevent nutritional related illness.
The program will be implemented by a team of three teachers and a Loreto Sister
The academic progress of the beneficiaries will be monitored
Ongoing dialogue between the teachers and the school administration will ensure the most needy and vulnerable students will be fed
Pupils who can afford a monthly fee to enrol in the feeding program will be encouraged to contribute to help supplement the budget