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ZAMBIA - CHIKUNI PARISH

The Chikuni home-based care (HBC) programme in southeast Zambia has been running since 2000, part of a Jesuit parish that serves 25,000 people living in 180 villages scattered in rural areas.

In 2011, Chikuni HBC had more than 1,400 clients on ART. Chikuni Mission Hospital and the HBC team worked hand-in-hand to ensure they received quality care and that they adhered to their therapy.

People with HIV belong to groups called Positive and Living Squads (PALS). They benefit and contribute to services based on three elements: palliative and health care; empowerment and capacity-building; and income-generating activities (IGAs).

One IGA is Mukkoche restaurant, which opened its doors in 2011, during the annual Tonga music festival organised by the radio station belonging to the parish. The Kamuzya Mulange (Tonga phrase for “come and see”) tailoring project is another IGA encouraging sales. The project is open to female caregivers who are often impoverished by their care responsibilities. In 2011, training by two Italian volunteers was held for the eight women on the project and their products, especially bags, were successfully marketed in Australia. Other IGAs include a bakery, a shop, animal rearing and dying batik materials.

The HBC tries to promote community gardening using organic methods, to ensure food security and water safety for caregivers and PALS members.

Chikuni Parish also pays the school fees of 500 orphans and vulnerable children.