LIFE IN LIVINGSTONE
"You are lucky if you reach the age of 50 here in Zambia", said my guide as he showed me around in the old people´s home in Livingstone. Life expectancy in Zambia is 58.1 years old, and the average person in Zambia is 16,7 years old.
These two men are living in Maramba old people´s home in Livingstone, where people are between 50 and 70 years old. One of the reasons for the low life expectancy is HIV. One in every eight people in the country are living with HIV, and life expectancy is just 58.1 years.
Under the the shade of big trees, the people who were living in Maramba old people´s home were sitting in the grass. An old man in a red jumper slowly put one feet in front of the other to move his wheelchair into the sun. "It is cold", he said in his local language, and my guide helped him to sit down safely once his wheelchair was in the sunshine.
"People here live very tough lives, and they don´t know much about healthy living. Some drink a lot, smoke and many don´t exercise. The struggles they do through in their daily lives make them grow old very fast. If you get to the age of 50 you are lucky. Not many people here reach the age of 70," said my guide Prince.
65 % OF YOUNG PEOPLE CANNOT READ AND WRITE
Earlier that day we visited a primary school. Most of the kids were from very poor families. In Zambia, the literacy rate for males are 70 per cent, while for women it is 55 per cent. The overall youth literacy rate is 65.76 per cent.
"We don´t have enough chairs and desks for everyone so some of the students sit on the floor", said the teacher. Many of the kids didn´t have shoes. "The reason why they are all dressed in different school uniforms is that they cannot afford their own. These uniforms are donated from different schools in Australia and the US", said the teacher.
All of the teachers were volunteers, paid by the church and volunteer organizations.