Approximately thirty miles due east of the capital of Lusaka, the Rafiki Training Village Zambia is a lush, peaceful oasis away from the noise and crowds of the city. Dedicated in 2006, the sixty-acre compound is nestled in the primarily agricultural Province of Lusaka. The local languages are Soli and Nyanja, and the food staples are maize meal (nshima) and greens. Twenty-one buildings house the residential and educational facilities of the Village staff and children. Football is the children’s favorite sport and their best-loved hymn is Holy, Holy, Holy.
A landlocked country in central Africa, Zambia occupies an elevated plateau, flanked in the south by the Zambezi River and the Victoria Falls. There are more than 70 ethnic groups, with most living in either Lusaka, the capital, or in Ndola and Kitwe, the cities of the copper belt. Endowed with huge copper reserves and fertile farmland, Zambia hoped for a future of prosperity and self-sufficiency after independence from Britain in 1964. However, with the fall of copper prices in the mid-1970s, the economy declined and has continued to falter ever since.
Zambia's first multiparty elections in 19 years were held in 1991, in which President Frederick Chiluba was elected. He won reelection in 1996, but international observers cited harassment of opposition parties. A coup was attempted in 1997 but suppressed, and there were alleged voting irregularities in the 2001 elections. Levy Mwanawasa, the new president, launched an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe corruption during the Chiluba’s rule and in a landmark civil case found the former president and others from the previous administration liable for USD 41 million. Mwanawasa was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair. Guy Scott is currently Acting President of Zambia after the death Michael Sata on October 28, 2014.
Area: 290,586 square miles
Language: English, Indigenous languages
Religion: Christian 95.5%, other 2.7%, none 1.8%
Currency: Zambian kwacha
Life Expectancy: 52
GNI per Capita: $1,810
Percentage of Population Living on Less than $1.25/day: 74.3%
Literacy Percent: 61.4%
Orphaned Children: 1,400,000
Physicians per 100, 000 people: 7
CIA—The World Factbook
National Geographic Atlas of the World
WHO Human Resources for Health
UNICEF—State of the World’s Children, 2010
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