#LionsAIM Helps Children in Zambia
Lions AIM (Aid in Meeting) is an aid and cultural exchange program for members of student clubs and other young members of Lions Norway. AIM is working with several agencies and projects in Uganda and Zambia, where an annual student delegation offers a one-month field work program in June and July as a part of the project. Today’s blog post is by Marie Lytomt Norum of Lions Club Trondheim Student, who shares the students’ experiences:
This summer, Aid in Meeting (AIM) sent a delegation of eight Norwegian students to work in Zambia for four weeks. AIM is an aid- and cultural programme for the members of the student clubs of Lions Clubs International.
During our stay in Zambia, we met the people behind the organisations we wanted to cooperate with. Our aim has been to contribute to develop their projects in a sustainable way.
Keeping the School Safe
Our head project this year was to build a security fence around the school Shine Zambia. The school offers an intensive two-year-long programme for kids who have not been able to attend public school because of difficulties at home. After the pupils have passed this programme, they are given the opportunity to start 7th grade at junior high school. The school also offer the pupils one portion of lunch every day, which may be to only daily meal for many of the children. Their goal is to become economically independent, but vandalism and theft have been big obstacles. The school used to have their own garden and water pump, but they were both either destroyed or stolen. Hopefully, the school will be able to reach their goal of becoming sustainable when the security fence is finished.
Helping Children with Disabilities
The second project during our stay was to complete the construction of the treatment room for an organisation called “Apters.” This is a team of physically challenged people creating costume made chairs from recycled paper and cardboard for children with disabilities. The organisation gives the children an easier life, and they are also contributing to the society by reducing the stigmatization of the physically challenged.
Creating Family and Community
The third project was at the orphanage “Action for Children.” The organisation was founded by Carol McBrady from the US, who gives street children a second chance. Carol’s desire is that these children are going to be a part of the family at the children’s centre, and to make them feel useful and appreciated in the local community. During our stay we arranged lessons about sexual health, and we also spent time playing games and helping them with their homework.
We believe that the four weeks we spent working in Zambia has been some of the most rewarding weeks of our lives. We are thankful to be given the opportunity to be able to help these organisations. In Zambia, we have met some truly inspiring people who makes sacrifices of their own to make the lives of children with different difficulties better.