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Zambian First Lady and Dr. Kenneth Kaunda Pledge Support to Build 80 Houses in Zambia

March 5, 2010

$500,000 to be raised in a drive to provide decent shelter for vulnerable groups in Ndola and Lusaka’s compounds

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (5 MARCH 2010) – On March 10, Habitat for Humanity Zambia will launch its 2010 Women Build Project in Lusaka. This project is supported by lead ambassador Mrs. Thandiwe Banda, the First Lady of Zambia, and the First Republican president of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, also the Patron of Habitat for Humanity Zambia. Banda will be the guest of honour at the launch event.

The First Lady and Dr. Kaunda are joined by several other high profile women ambassadors who are committing their support and time in coming months to raise approximately 2.3 billion Zambian Kwacha (US$500,000) to provide decent shelter, improved sanitation and training to protect against property grabbing for 80 vulnerable households in their Orphans and Vulnerable Children programme. This will directly impact the lives of at least 320 individuals.

Ambassadors include Supreme Court Judge Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, who is also the country’s first female lawyer, solicitor general and judge; Ms. Christine Mulundika, chairperson of the Zambia Federation of Association of Women in Business; Mrs. Mary Kazunga, chairperson of Habitat for Humanity Zambia’s Board; Mrs. Chilufya Mwaba-Phiri, director of Zambia Health Education and Communications Trust; and Reverend Kuzipa Nalwamba, lecturer at the United Church of Zambia Theological College in Kitwe.

The purpose of the First Lady’s office is to work and partner with existing organizations to empower girls, vulnerable children and women – specifically the most at risk. It is Mrs. Banda’s wish to see that Zambia attains the fifth Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality rates and to participate effectively in the social and economic development of Zambia through advocacy for policy change and gender inclusive social processes.

“Women are our leaders, our mothers, our caretakers and our future. Still, many of them live in abject poverty, without access to decent shelter,” says Petronella Shiaka, national director of Habitat for Humanity Zambia.

Habitat for Humanity Zambia has built over 2,047 houses in Zambia. The 2000th house was presented in October of last year to Mary Chimfwembe, a caregiver of seven children. This was part of an OVC project built with the help of Irish Aid and in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Ireland.

Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Habitat for Humanity Zambia work in partnership in Nkwazi, Chipulukusu and Kawama in Ndola and Lusaka’s urban slum communities. The 2010 Zambia Women Build will expand on the foundation provided by the successes already achieved in the OVC project supported by Irish Aid.

In coming months, various volunteer groups will be travelling to Zambia to participate in Habitat for Humanity Zambia’s Global Village programme. The volunteers will actively help to build homes for beneficiary families. Three teams have already pledged to raise a minimum of $550 per person towards the cost of the houses being built.

For future home beneficiary, Egenia Sakala, 75, of Lusaka’s Chazanga compound, a new home will change her life forever. Sakala’s three children have passed away, leaving four orphaned grandchildren that she has taken in. They currently live in a one-room mud house that they built themselves on land that was given to Sakala by the area chief. In the rainy season, the whole family sleeps on a wet floor or shares a small bed. As part of the 2010 Women Build, Sakala will be provided with decent shelter.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global non-governmental organization that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Zambia
Habitat for Humanity Zambia (HFHZ) is part of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat for Humanity Zambia welcomes to the table a number of partners from any faith or no faith to work together in partnership to build houses with families in need. Habitat for Humanity Zambia is currently carrying out its operations in four provinces in Zambia – Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt and Western Provinces. HFH Zambia has two key programmes – the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programme and the Traditional Mortgage Housing programme which is implemented in the Rural, Urban and Peri-Urban areas. For more information, visit www.habitatzam.org.zm.

Quotes from previous beneficiaries:

• “Though we may still sometimes sleep without food, we now have something to hold onto with our new house. It makes such a difference. I don’t know how to thank God for this.” – Agnes Mwape (85). Kawama Compound, Ndola. Takes care of her two orphaned grandsons.

• “Ever since I moved into our new house, I have so much peace of mind. I don’t have to worry about my shelter catching fire as easily as was the case with the tent I used to live in. I don’t have to worry about sharing a room with my eighteen year old son, and I don’t have to worry about spending sleepless nights once the rains start in the next two months.” Mary Chimfwembe (39). Independence Township. Lives with her five children, her elder sister’s daughter and her two children.