According to the World Health Organization, about 2 million children, women and men in Zambia, or 15 percent of the population, have a disability (2011). In a population of 14 million (World Bank, 2012), 1.2 million are orphans, many of whom are disabled.
As a group, the majority of Zambians with disabilities live in poverty and generally have disproportionately low literacy levels compared to persons without disabilities. Disabled persons often have to resort to street begging as a means of survival. There are children also, who do not come out of their homes because parents/guardians are embarrassed to bring them out to be seen by neighbors or friends. Life on Wheels works hard to try and fight the “Shame” syndrome.”
We have a fostering relationship moving towards a partnership with an organization within Ndola, Zambia (Life on Wheels) that began in 2009, with the emphasis on special needs children, their families, and orphans with disabilities. In addition, Life on Wheels has a special relationship with a Day Center for children with disabilities on the grounds of the Central Hospital.
It is our hope that ECW can help progress the great work that Life on Wheels is providing by needed resources, ongoing visits/trips and helping them establish disability ministries within the local church.