News from Zambia

Youth making a change in Zambia

“We are the future leaders. The main point of us being educated is for development and to reduce the number of poverty.” Deborah, 14, from Kaoma, Zambia, has it very clear why youth need to stand up and defend their rights.

Deborah is an active member of the Barefeet Children’s Council in her home town, Kaoma. She has learned a lot through the Children’s Council, and feels that their actions are truly changing her community. Together with the other members of the Children’s Council, Deborah is using poetry and drama to talk publicly about child abuse, teenage pregnancies and children’s rights.

“What I’m doing is really helping. And I’m proud that when I do that they really get the message and at least something changes.”

In the video clip (in English with subtitles in Finnish) Deborah introduces the activities of the Barefeet Children’s Council in Kaoma.

“We do things for somebody out there, who is facing challenges. We make sure that their voices are heard.” Isaac, 18, is a proud member of the Barefeet Children’s Council in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Helping other youth through outreaches makes him feel good.

Isaac himself has learned to manage his life through the trainings offered by the Children’s Council. Now he wants to train and motivate other young people, and to share important information. “If I can do this, anybody else can do it.”

The members of the Children’s Councils in Zambia are changing attitudes by talking about problems affecting their communities. Isaac is one of many offering their support. “If someone is facing violence or sexual abuse and does not know what to do, we will help. We will tell what to do and where to get help.”

In the video clip Isaac talks about different ways of making a change in his community.


This school year in the Taksvärkki / Operation a Day’s Work campaign youth in Zambia are in the limelight. Through taking part in the ODW campaign and fundraising, Finnish youth support Zambian youth who share information using Theatre for Development, defend those without a voice and inspire other youth to act against discrimination.

Find more stories from Zambian youth on the campaign page here.

Be brave! Action against discrimination together with Zambian youth

Youth in Zambia face discrimination in school, at home and on the streets. Girls from poor families, youth with refugee background, youth living and working on the street or youth with disabilities don’t receive the education and healthcare they need.

In ODW Finland’s (Taksvärkki ry) new Be brave campaign Finnish youth support groups of young advocates in Zambia. The campaign started in August together with the new school year. The patroness of the Taksvärkki campaign is President Tarja Halonen.

In Zambia the Barefeet Children’s Council members focus on topics which affect their communities and the youths. Brave youth use peer to peer education and Theatre for Development to make a positive change. They share information, defend those without a voice and inspire other youth to act against discrimination.
Golden and Edith, both 17 years old, are Barefeet Children’s Council members in their hometown of Kaoma.
By spending one day at work and donating their pay to ODW Finland’s campaign, Finnish youth fund long-term development cooperation project in Zambia. ODW’s local partner organization Barefeet Theatre is in charge of the practical implementation of the project.

In Finland, the ODW campaign has a strong development education component. ODW volunteers visit elementary and secondary schools all over the country and tell about active youth in Zambia and children’s rights. These workshops are complemented by high-quality learning materials and study packages for teachers. The goal is to raise a sense of global responsibility in Finnish youth and to build links between youth in Finland and Zambia.

Young people have what it takes to change the world. That is why they are protagonists, not merely beneficiaries in ODW’s development cooperation projects.

The annual ODW campaign is young people’s own development cooperation, from youth to youth.

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”In Taksvärkki we build bridges between youth.” – Iiris, 14, Finland

”You just have to know that you have value either you are rich, poor or disabled.” – Hope, 15 Zambia