The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

February 20, 2013

Zambian Vocal Group to perform at schools, churches

(Continued)

PALESTINE — About Zambia

Zambia is located in South Central Africa. It is a landlocked country slightly larger than the state of Texas. There are 13 million people in Zambia and half of them are under the age of 16. This huge number is due to the high death rate from extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.

The average life expectancy in Zambia is 38 years old and it has the fifth highest death rate in the world.

Of the 6.5 million children in Zambia, more than 1 million of them are orphaned.

Conditions for these children are nearly impossible. With extremely high unemployment rates, about 86 percent of the population of Zambia must live on less than $1 a day.

With so many families struggling just to make it to the next day, school is often considered a luxury. Although there are a few free government schools, the waiting lists are so long and the child’s family must be able to provide uniforms and school supplies for each child.

Some of the students at the Zambian Vocal Group Academy are orphans, many being raised by grandparents or aunts that were already struggling with their own families. Some of the students have one or both parents that are struggling just to put food on their table and would never be able to afford to send any of the children to school. If a family is able to save enough money for tuition, it’s very common for just one child to be chosen to send to school and the rest of the siblings will be kept home or sent to work to help make ends meet.  

How to Help

There are several ways to help the Zambian Vocal Group with their ministry, including:

• Give to the scholarship program — The Zambian Vocal Group Academy is for children in grades 1-7. They are now offering scholarships for children to go on to high school and finish their education. For more information, visit http://www.zambianvocalgroup.org/scholarship-program.html

• Give to the building fund — The group is trying to raise money to complete a security wall fence around the property. For more information, visit http://www.zambianvocalgroup.org/support-the-building-fund.html

• Participate in a mission trip — The Zambian Vocal Group takes a mission group to Zambia each summer in June. For anyone interested in joining their future mission teams, or giving towards the mission trip, visit http://www.zambianvocalgroup.org/go-to-zambia.html

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