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Sister Baptista reads a message from Hearts for Zambia friends.

 * About the size of Texas, population 13 million

* Former Northern Rhodesia, independence from Britain in 1964, democratically elected government

* Official language is English, but 70 local languages* Life expectancy is about 49

11

 

years, median age is 16.5

* Unemployment rate fluctuates between 12% and 20%. Average income $380 per year

* On U.N. scale of poverty, Zambia ranks 166 out of 177 countries. About 68% of Zambians live below the recognized national poverty line, with rural poverty rates standing at about 78% and urban rates of 53%

* Economy –mostly mining and agriculture

* HIV/AIDS –13.5% of population is living with HIV/AIDS. 57% of these are women and 12% are children. 75% of households are caring for at least one orphan. A UN report in 2012 has revealed that Zambia has drastically reduced new HIV infections by 58 per cent and achieved more than 80 per cent HIV treatment.

* Basic education is free through grade 7, but families must provide uniforms, shoes, and books. Most students drop out after grade 7.

 

Northern Province

 

* Geographically the largest province, rural, population 1.76 million

* No industries, most people subsistence farmers, some commercial fishing

* Minimal infrastructure, poor roads, great distances between towns, isolated

* Not serviced by most major NGO’s (“beyond their catchment area”)

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