Over the past ten days, Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and Global Team of 200, has been in Zambia as an International Press Reporting fellow covering HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and how these diseases impact mothers and children. She was selected to report in Zambia along with nine other new media journalists, who have all covered these topics from different perspectives. It has been amazing reading all the stories about their work and learning more about the conditions in Zambia.
One of the places that Jennifer and the fellows visited that I found truly inspiring was the Fountain of Hope center in Lusaka, Zambia. The Fountain of Hope was founded in 1996 by a group of local Zambians as a way to help rehabilitate the growing population of street children in Zambia’s capital. In a country of 14 million, it has been estimated that there are 75,000 street children throughout the country and 2,000 alone in the nation’s capital Lusaka. Oftentimes these children spend their days on the streets, not going to school and doing whatever they can to feed themselves and stay alive.
Fountain of Hope was created to help these vulnerable children, many who are AIDS orphans, abandoned or living off drugs, to survive. It provides a safe place for the kids to attend school, get a meal, play sports, receive health care and learn skills through its technology program. Best of all, it is a loving place that is off the streets and kids can experience a sense of normalcy in their troubled lives.
Save the Children has partnered with Fountain of Hope by funding the Sport in Action (SIA) program that gives children an opportunity to get off the street even if just for a short while and simply be a child again. Sport In Action (SIA) was founded in 1998 with a unique mission that leverages the power of sports and recreation as a way to improve the quality of children’s lives and bring about positive social change. SIA helps children by providing child protection services while simultaneously teaching them such important life skills as teamwork, motivation, self-reliance and social and economic empowerment.
So far, the program has been a great success helping bring smiles and feelings of accomplishment to the children it serves. Here is a lovely video showing the kids gearing up to play their favorite sport, football.
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