Maseele Widows Club is a community group established in 2005 by 13 local widows to support orphans of HIV/AIDS in three isolated villages in Namwala District.
In 2016 ZOA-UK helped the club to provide school supplies, uniforms and fees for 46 primary school children and 25 secondary children at around £70 per child each year. In 2017 we need to find the funds to support 66 students.
We also seed-funded an income-generating tailoring business. Scarves, clothes and bags are sold in the community where there is much goodwill for the Widows. Tailoring profits supply orphan households with maize, so the children no longer absent themselves from school to find food.
In 2015 the Widows set up an after-school gardening club (pictured), which has proved extremely popular. Football and netball teams are planned.
Campaign against early marriage
The Widows campaign hard against the tradition of Chisungu (young girls, particularly orphans, are pressured to dance in public to advertise their menarche). Locally, this had led to a great reduction in the number of girls forced to drop out of school to marry.