Welcome to the new blog of Alliance for Children Everywhere! This month we’ll share a story about the recent cholera outbreak in Zambia, and how your support of the Family Preservation Program protected families from tragedy.
Health Talks Pay Off During Lusaka’s Cholera Outbreak
Our Family Preservation Program’s (FPP) monthly food distribution is about more than food relief. When families come for a monthly food supply they also receive support from ACE staff to keep their families healthy.
Through our partnership with Rise Against Hunger, ACE includes soap with a family’s monthly food supply. We take time to talk with families about personal hygiene, food safety, and protecting children from infection. One of our staff in Zambia said, “We do our best each month to teach families over and over again out these issues, but it wasn’t until the cholera epidemic broke out in Lusaka that we saw the fruits of our labor.”
“We do our best each month to teach families over and over again out these issues, but it wasn’t until the cholera epidemic broke out in Lusaka that we saw the fruits of our labor.”
Government Restrictions Delay Food Distributions
When the cholera epidemic broke out in the city, staff were very worried. Some of the hardest-hit areas included neighborhoods where ACE offers food distributions: John Laing, Linda, Mtendere and Matero. The outbreak became so serious that the government banned public meetings. Schools were closed. People remained homebound. Much to our concern, this ban meant ACE staff could not reach our families with their monthly food supply. We waited and prayed, worried that our FPP families were among those who died.
FPP Families Safe and Accounted For
It was wonderful for staff to return to the compounds and see FPP families once the outbreak subsided and the government relaxed its restrictions. We were elated to discover that none of our families were tragically affected during the epidemic! We did not lose a single parent or child in any of our six distribution centers. Families thanked us profusely for teaching them about health safety before the outbreak began. Families knew that water had to be boiled before drinking; they had to wash their hands before cooking, after using the toilet or changing their babies’ diapers; they knew they had to wash fruits and vegetables before cooking; and they knew the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.
Next month, we’ll share a story from Helen DeVos Christian School (HDCS), ACE’s secondary school in Lusaka. Congrats to the class of 2018! To check out a quick video of Executive Director Cari Armbruster celebrating with graduates at the beginning of April, click here.