Girls move into the new World Housing Safe House in Zambia.

Written by Sam White on March 18, 2024

World Housing believes in housing first and that a safe and secure home is a fundamental human right. As part of World Housing’s mission to provide shelter to the world’s most vulnerable populations, it has raised funds for the past ten years through an incredible network of donors and ambassadors.

In 2023, World Housing recognized the need to build not just single-family homes for communities, but larger housing projects for children that provide educational access for them. The Girls’ Safe House is a new type of housing project for World Housing where students can learn and grow in a safe and secure environment with proximity to schools, which is often the barrier, particularly for girls, to completing their education. As one of the key pillars of social change, access to education was essential for these girls to fulfill their true-life potential.

For their first project in Africa, World Housing, in partnership with Baraka Foundation, a local NGO with boots on the ground in Zambia, completed its first safe house to house 30 girls from the rural area of Kapiri–Mposhi district of Zambia. The project was primarily funded by The Canadian Tilling Foundation, with additional donors contributing the funds needed to complete all aspects of the house and also includes food gardens, and gated outdoor space. Additional World Housing donors providing this generous support include the Morrison Family, Liz Bergey and Wayne deJong of Pillar to Post Vancouver, Tony Allard, and Mark and Laura Bailey of The Bailey Foundation.

Each room houses 4 girls for sleeping purposes and who have access to common areas for cooking, study, relaxation, and quiet time. As World Housing prepares for its dedication ceremony, we heard about Lillian, one of the girls who was positively impacted by the new facility being built. Her previous dwelling where she lived with her father was located in a very rural area too far from schools, making it impossible to complete her education.

“The scenarios we found in the villages were very touching as the girls we selected hail from homes that are heavily hit by the current poverty situation,” shared Andrew Tembo of local NGO in Zambia. “As you drive close to their households, you will get to the point where you cannot control your tears from falling. The first indication is that there is no way a child could pass an exam in such situations, and secondly, it looked almost impossible that the girls would have continued with their education if we did not intervene.”

With the new World Housing opportunity, Lillian can continue her education at the Baraka Learning Center. On May 19, 2024, the safe house will be dedicated and officially opened for the first thirty girls selected for the program.

Education is a vital building block for communities and the positive reverberations it can have on the lives of young people and their families is exponential. In Zambia, one of the most pressing challenges in rural education is the crucial housing shortage for teachers and their families.

World Housing plans to build a second safe house starting in 2024 due to the overwhelming need, and you can join their efforts on this project. For $3,000, a donor can provide housing for a girl. With any level of donation, you can support the World Housing Girls Safe House projects and the many young women who will have access to the system over the next 30+years.

With your help, World Housing can continue its work with the Baraka Community Partnerships to create a legacy for girls in Zambia to receive valuable education with a safe place to live.