Zambia, Africa

ZAM27 - Chingola Orphanage and Aged Centre (CORAC) : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: March 29, 2019

Report by BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitator Following Visit

Key people: Barnabus Mwela and Titus Mambwe


When we visited both Titus and Phylis were sick due to diabetes so we just met with Barnabus at his house, then visited the farm and some of the beneficiaries of the programs.


Recent Events

Skills Training Centre

ready for classesThey have now completed the building at Barnabus' house apart from a concrete slab for the workshop floor. This was funded by funds generated from CORAC farming income generating activities over the last three years, and them providing labour. Courses have not yet started due to the board wanting to make sure they have thought of everything for the business plan.

They have set the idea to have teaching for two hours each day for a period of three months for each course which will give beneficiaries the basics in both carpentry and tailoring. For the rest of the day the students will do practicals and the things they make will be for sale. The cost to a student will be 250 Zmk (US$20) per course for three months.

The tutors are to be paid but just on a commission basis from what the Skills Centre makes, i.e. as a volunteer. This has caused problems finding a tailoring tutor. Barnabus himself will teach the carpentry. 

Education Program

Since CORAC started in 2010 there have been 23 orphans who have completed Grade 12. Six of these have gone on to have scholarships outside of CORAC at various universities. Three of them are funded under the CORAC higher education loan program. The remaining 14 CORAC is still in contact with as they are trying to raise their own funds to go to college, mostly through small business or farming.

The loan program that currently sits at US$2,200 has helped the three beneficiaries to undertake their studies but as yet they haven’t got a steady income to start the repayments. Once they do CORAC will be able to use those funds to help fund others. Moses Chibale has trained in Early Childhood Education and has had some work at a community school but is waiting to be enrolled at a government school. Obed Mambwe undertook an auto electric course and has had some piece work for people with contracts but is thinking about how to set up his own business. Kennedy Chikot will finish his Primary School Diploma in 2020. 

not so greatFarming

This year they had a group of three beneficiaries who tried farming as well as the field for CORAC programs.

The three beneficiaries’ fields do not look very good (right) due to lack of weeding and late application of fertilizer. One problem was that Barnabus was not around to supervise as his brother was hit by a minivan and sustained bad injuries in December last year so he was away for the whole growing season. Unfortunately his brother passed away. 

pretty good


The CORAC field looks like a pretty good crop. They have planted local seed maize and used paraquat to weed the field once. Last year this area was planted in cow peas which are legumes and have added nitrogen into the soil to help feed the maize. The total cost of farming the 3 lima was 4,310 Zmk which means they need to get 30 bags to break even. My estimate looking at the crop is that they will get about 60 bags (4 ton per hectare).  

income generator



CORAC has also started a moringa tree project. They have been given some seeds, 53 of them, that they have used to create a nursery. The plan is to let these grow and then harvest more seeds from these trees to have a big plantation. Seeds cost 6,000 Zmk (US$500) for a 5kg bag which is why they are trying to grow their own seeds. A company is giving contracts to buy moringa powder for 50 Zmk per kilo. They will harvest the leaves, dry them in the shade and then pound them into a powder.

Family Empowerment

In 2018 three families were involved in the family empowerment program. This meant that instead of CORAC supplying funds for education for the family's orphans they instead received a grant to help bump up their businesses. This was trial to see how it would go. 


Personal Stories

tough lifeElizabeth Mukuku

Elizabeth is a grandmother of four young girls who have been on the CORAC program. They live in a little one room shack in the urban settlement of Chingola. Life here is pretty tough. The parents of the girls passed away in 2014.

The grandma helps to support her grandchildren by buying vegetables and other products and selling them at her stand in the local market. Her son Lloyd (in blue), who is an uncle to these girls, works in the stall as well. The day we visited they had only managed to sell three onions.

Two of the girls unfortunately have recently gotten pregnant. This is a problem in this area where there seems to be little hope for a better life. When we visited the two girls hid behind the material wall that was in the house, and wouldn’t come out to see us due to being ashamed.

little bit of incomeThe remaining two girls, Betha (grade 3) and Natasha (grade 4), are still in the CORAC program. In 2018 this family was helped in the family empowerment program and given 300 Zmk to help bump up the business instead of paying for school fees of the girls. They purchased Parafin, vegetables, groundnuts and cara (floor polish) for resale.

The girls still went to school that year as the grandma managed to fund the 380 Zmk required to pay for school fees for each of the two girls from the increased profits from the capital injection.

I asked Elizabeth which is best, to receive school fees or capital injection. She thought for some time and then replied “both”.

Agnes Mwansa  

long walk to farmAgnes lives in Chingola township where she looks after her grandchildren because their parents have died.

She was one of the beneficiaries of the maize farming program with CORAC this year. She received some seed and fertilizer for the field but says she failed to go to the farm enough times to keep up with the weeding. The farm is 12 km away from where she lives and that provides a challenge to walk that far even though there is a place to stay on the farm.

She provides for the children mainly by cooking pop corns and selling them across the street at the local market.  


Current Issues and Challenges

The sheer number of vulnerable people in urban areas is the greatest challenge CORAC faces. The urban poor living conditions that we saw were truly shocking, a small shack with no security, just cloth for doors, and one small living area.



I am waiting for them to put together a final business proposal for the skills training but this is to be self-sustaining. We will also investigate more the option of family empowerment. 

At this stage I recommend the budget remains the same and we consider more loans for higher education but only when the current three loans are in the process of being paid back.