Posts Tagged ‘Zambia’

Zambia Conference Addresses ‘Resource Curse’

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

By Kim Pozniak,

It’s been called the “Resource Curse,” the fact that many countries rich in natural resources also have high and growing levels of poverty, extreme income inequalities, greater risk of conflict, and high levels of corruption.

Too often, government revenues from resource extraction—oil, gas, mining and logging—are not used to support basic social services such as health, nutrition and education. They certainly don’t find their way into investments that benefit the poor as often as they should. Worse yet, profits from extractives too often fuel terrible violence in some countries. At the same time, people living near extractive operations often suffer from degradation of the environment and their own health, conflict, unjust labor practices, displacement from their land and interrupted livelihoods.

To address such issues, CRS and the U.K.-based Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) sponsored an extractive industries conference in the southern African country of Zambia this month. More than 130 people representing faith-based, legal and human rights and environmental organizations from 15 countries came together in Lusaka for the conference entitled “Connecting Resources, Connecting People.”

In Zambia, a Hospice that Actually Discharges Patients

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Mike Hill, CRS’ communications officer for sub-Saharan Africa (based at our World Headquarters in Baltimore), writes from Zambia, where he is visiting CRS projects:

St. Joseph’s Hospice in Lusaka does something such institutions rarely do in the United States—it discharges patients.

The hospice offers a service common in America but rare in Africa: palliative care for those approaching death, including psychological and spiritual counseling as well as pain relief, though the most effective drug, morphine, is very hard to come by in this country.

The hospice, open only a few months in a brand new building, has its operation expenses paid by CRS. Other aid organizations have joined forces to get the hospice up and running, but its hospital beds are still enroute from Australia, so it is making do with the 11 beds it scrounged up. When fully operational, it will have room for 33.

Adminstrator Christina Phiri says that since opening in April, six of its clients have died. But eight have been sent back home in relative health. That’s because they arrived in what appeared to be the last stages of AIDS, but at the hospice were put on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the first time. It got their disease under control.

This is just one more example of how ART, the so-called AIDS drug cocktail, is bringing hope and health to the many on this continent who were condemned to certain death only a few years ago.

A Volunteer’s Journal: Six Months in Zambia

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Joe Weber is a CRS volunteer working in Zambia. The Kansas City native is teaching theology to rural catechists and assisting the diocesan development office in the establishment of a community radio station. His blog is part of a series of personal reflections our volunteers are sharing from their journey and experience overseas.

I’ve been in Solwezi, Zambia for six and one half weeks. I’ve found that, if I walk off the main road and go through a gate, wind my way through the gravel lot in front of an old office building, pass a warehouse, and enter a small room buzzing of bees, I can buy the world’s best honey and homemade peanut butter. Things in Zambia are not found in well-advertised storefront windows along busy streets. They are tucked away, seemingly hidden to the outsider. It takes time and patience to discover them.


CRS Volunteer Joe Weber outside his radio station office in Solwezi, Zambia. Photo by CRS staff

My first six months as a CRS volunteer were spent at the CRS national office, usually assisting with writing and editing for the wide variety of initiatives that CRS and its partners are undertaking here: food security initiatives for people in areas prone to floods and droughts; hospices and clinics for tens of thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS; advocacy on behalf of communities affected by Zambia’s booming copper industry. The breadth of programming here is impressive; the far-reaching effects of these programs in the communities is even more striking.

After six months in Lusaka, I carried my new knowledge Northwest to Solwezi, setting-up shop in the offices of the most vast and rural of the Catholic dioceses in the country. Again I find myself involved in a wide variety of programs and projects, including assisting the diocesan development office with setting up a radio station.

I never know what secrets await me, hidden just off of or even along the one main road. I never know what to expect from the day-to-day life in Solwezi. But I do know that for most everyone here, the day-to-day is very much a struggle for survival. Walking down the main road, something of this struggle is apparent. But in other ways the suffering, resilience, and hope of people, like the location of great peanut butter, is only discovered with patience. (more…)

Pres. Bush Recalls the Words of CRS Zambia’s Bridget Chisenga

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Bridget Chisenga. Photo by CRS

President Bush, in a speech this morning before leaving tomorrow for Africa with First Lady Laura Bush, made reference to a woman who made a profound impression on him: Bridget Chisenga, who works for CRS Zambia to promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy, the lifesaving medication for people living with HIV.

Bridget works for AIDSRelief, the CRS-led consortium that is funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize and expand PEPFAR for the next five years.

“Auntie Bridget,” as she is known to her co-workers and clients, spent several weeks in the fall here in the U.S. visiting schools and parishes and sharing her experiences of living with HIV and working with others with HIV. She joined President Bush for a World AIDS Day commemoration, and this morning, he recalled what she said that day:

Last November, I met a woman from Zambia named Bridget Chisenga. Bridget’s husband died of AIDS, and she expected to meet the same fate. Then she went to a clinic operated by Catholic Relief Services, funded by the American people. Today, Bridget is healthy. She has a job at the clinic, where she helps provide AIDS medicine to others. I want our fellow citizens to hear what she said: “This face is alive and vibrant because of your initiative. I would like to thank you.”