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Empowering Rural Communities through The Kumena Project

Growing enough crops to survive is becoming very difficult in rural areas of Kabwe, Zambia. The erratic weather, as well as the rising costs of products like chemical fertiliser and cooking oil, means people are struggling to access the food they need to feed their families.  

But thanks to you, and funding from the Scottish Government, since 2017 we’ve supported hundreds of families to increase their income and food security through our Kumena project. Zambia Kumena project - gallery 1

People in Zambia face many challenges. Due to the recent financial crisis and the effects of COVID-19, the cost of living is on the rise. Many people don’t have enough to eat, and life expectancy is among the lowest in the world. Communities survive by farming and climate change is making this very difficult, with increasingly frequent and intense droughts and dry spells, seasonal and flash floods, and extreme temperatures. 

Families struggle to provide for their children and many young people don’t receive an education. Poverty can feel inescapable.  

With a deep understanding of the local community, our partners at Caritas Kabwe know that the best way to help people survive is to develop skills and provide training.  

 When disaster strikes, the farming training and tools provided help people to continue to feed their families. Community initiatives to manufacture products like green charcoal and peanut butter allow people to start their own businesses and increase their income. And savings groups, group learning sessions and literacy classes promote gender equality and help women feel independent and in control of their futures. 


households supported 


people have clean water and access to wells


women trained in gender equality


literacy centres established


households now use energy-efficient cookstoves


increase in household income

Scholastica Zambia 2022 Content Trip 22

Scholastica’s story

“I am retired, I came here from the Central Province. Me and my husband were teachers but we’re both retired now. We started a new life here.

“I received a lot of help from Caritas Kabwe. They have taught us so many things. I know now how to make manure, green charcoal and energy stoves. This means we no longer destroy trees. I also have a vegetable garden. I don’t spend much money on it, and we use excess water and compost to grow food.

“My children and grandchildren visit during the holidays, and they always rush to the garden. Before, I had a very small garden and was using chemical fertiliser which was very expensive. Now, I grow a lot more and can sell to my neighbours.

“I appreciate the people in Scotland. You have done a lot for our income.” 

Supported by The Scottish Government

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