Zambia is a nation roughly the size of the US state of Texas, with approximately half the population: 11.9 million people. About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. Annual incomes are well below the level at the time of independence and, at $921 a person, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly life expectancy at birth (about 37 years) and maternal mortality (729 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies). The country's rate of economic growth cannot support the rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS related issues place on government resources.
English is the national language. While tribal languages are learned and spoken at home, every child is taught English once they begin school and English is widely spoken throughout Zambia. Because of this, we are able to ship books directly without a need for translation.
AIDS, Poverty and Orphans
Poverty in Zambia is directly and indisputably related to HIV/AIDS. A parent (or parents) suffering and dying of HIV/AIDS leads to the downfall or demise of the household. The children orphaned because of HIV/AIDS are often taken in by relatives or foster families, which then leads to the overburdening of these families. Worse yet are the orphaned children forced to become the head of households themselves. These children often turn to prostitution or theft, and sink deeper into poverty.
Zambia is experiencing the health, economic and social impacts of one of the world’s most devastating HIV and AIDS epidemics. The epidemic has affected all aspects of social and economic growth in the country. It has devastated individual families, weakened all areas of the public sector, and threatened long-term national development. According to UNAIDS statistics, every 35 seconds, a child becomes an orphan because of AIDS. More than one in every seven adults in the country is living with HIV. Prevalence rates are not dropping and have remained more or less stable since the nineties, at as high as 25% in some urban areas. More than half the population is less than 16 years old, and one in five children have lost one or both parents to the disease. In 2007 there were 600,000 AIDS orphans in the country.