Attendance at the Maunga Kids Club in Livingstone continues to increase, with around 40 children at the most recent session. Many children had brought along their younger siblings, so the lesson was divided into two groups depending on age. The older children looked at directions; the movement of the sun, why and how the earth spins, and how to use a compass. They were then shown a map of Africa and of the world and were asked questions based on direction and location. As a practical - and enjoyable - activity, the children finished the lesson by going outside to play a game using simple home-made compasses. As usual, the morning ended with some time for fun; singing traditional songs, learning new games and enjoying some old favourites.
With the seventh lowest life expectancy in the world, and a population ravaged by HIV/AIDS, Zambia’s orphans and vulnerable children number in their millions; many living with the disease themselves. Having to deal with situations way beyond their years, this generation of youngsters are being forced to forgo much of their childhood. The Maunga Kids Club was launched in 2011 to allow these children the opportunity to play in a supervised and safe area. Informal lessons are conducted on a wide range of conservation and health topics that are designed to engage with the children by being informal and fun. These sessions have another important function, enabling us to identify children that may be struggling in their home lives, so that they can be brought to the attention of community leaders and additional support put in place.