In the social Zambian tradition, parents look after their children. When the children have grown into adults, it is their turn to look after their aging parents. Due to the high AIDS rate in Zambia, not only children become orphans but also elderly people lose their families and have to look after their grandchildren. AIDS and the rural exodus due to unemployment have destroyed family structures in many places. Many elderly people live on the edge of the subsistence level, often starvation is very close. There is no functioning social system in Zambia that could help these people.
In order to help elderly people in such circumstances, the Old People's Village Mulele in Mpanshya was built. Mulele currently has 10 inhabitants and supports about 20 other poor families whose grandparents live with them. It is financed among other things with a bakery. Mulele has an own garden in which they grow their own vegetables. Unfortunately, the costs cannot be covered with the income of the bakery only. Even the "export" of the fresh bread to the markets and restaurants in Lusaka is only limited possible since the government of Zambia increased the fuel price by 20%. Therefore, other ways have to be found to finance the costs of CHF 100 per person and month. Mulele has space available for about 20 people.
We visit Mulele and its inhabitants again and again and it is a great concern to us to enable a worthy existence for them. In addition to one-time donations, we are also looking for people who are willing to sponsor an elderly person. If you are interested, please get in touch with me, I will be happy to inform you personally about the possibilities.
Sponsorships for Elderly People
The association tries to place sponsorships for elderly people as well. The following two sponsorships are possible:
- A sponsorship for a resident of the Mulele retirement home. This sponsorship costs CHF 100.00 per month, or CHF 1,200.00 per year. The pensioners, who are accommodated in double rooms, receive three meals a day, hygiene articles, clothes, shoes, etc.
- A sponsorship of an elderly person in the new outreach programme. This sponsorship costs CHF 250.00 per year. The persons concerned live with their family in their village. Once a month they receive basic food products, hygiene products, washing powder, and various other small items. This way they do not become a burden for their families, as they cannot take care of themselves anymore and can stay with their families and look after the grandchildren.
In order to cover the daily costs of the old people's home, ten small, inexpensive houses, more precisely five two-family houses, were built for rent. There is an increasing demand for housing in the rapidly growing district. With the rental income of one two-family house, seven elderly people can be fully financed and cared for, thus the House Project reduces the dependence on donations. This will make Mulele a sustainable institution for many years to come.