Welcome to Zambia
'Love is all you need'
“Hi, I'm Theresa. I live at the SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka, Zambia.
Every day I do chores at the SOS Village. I water the garden and help pick the vegetables. Once I've done all my chores, I can play with my friends. We love singing and dancing. When I grow up, I want to be a journalist.”
Theresa had a tough start in life. To escape poverty and a difficult home environment, Theresa and her younger brother ran away. (See The Reunion to find out why life was so hard.) She and her brother were found scavenging on a rubbish dump. A social worker took Theresa and her brother to a government transit home, before they were finally brought to SOS Children's Village, Lusaka.
Now 13 years old, Theresa is settled into her new life. She's a sociable and clever girl who loves her studies. Theresa and her brother were lucky to find a stable home and the chance of a good education – thousands like them are not.
Although Zambia lies within the tropics, the climate is tempered by its high altitude. Most of the land is part of an undulating plateau which runs like a backbone through the African continent. With altitudes of 1,000 to 1,600 metres, the resulting cooler temperatures make for a comfortable climate.
Zambia is one of the top 10 producers of copper. The country’s economy is reliant on copper exports, which make up 80% of foreign earnings.
The country has invested heavily in schools. Compulsory education begins at seven years of age and carries on for seven years. Three-quarters of young people (aged 15-24) are literate.
Insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, cicadas and flying ants are eaten as delicacies. During the rainy season, Zambians look forward to the once-a-year feast of fried termites.
HIV/AIDS kills around 50,000 Zambians each year and has left around 700,000 orphans.
Zambia is home to many different groups, speaking more than 72 local languages and dialects. Bemba is the most widely-spoken language (apart from English) and is used by more than 2 million Zambians in Lusaka and across the Copperbelt.