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ZAP - Zambia Allocation Program


Despite recent economic growth, Zambia remains one of the poorest nations in the world, with at least 75% of its population living below the poverty line. It also has an incredibly young population, with more than half below the age of 18. Whilst school attendance is high, few complete the entire cycle, in particular girls, and rural areas still lag behind.

The idea

ZAP lends financial support to local non-profit organizations that enhance the living environment of the poor in Zambia. One of its projects is the Nkulumaziba Goverment School. This Primary school is in the middle of the 'bush', with the nearest town 50km away. It is home to 500 students of which half are girls until Grade 4; after this the ratio deteriorates. The school is well-embedded in the community, who is highly motivated and supportive. It is also a sustainable school, since teacher’s salaries are officially paid by the Ministry of Education who recognized the school in 2013.

ZAP supports this school in a number of ways, including ensuring buildings are provided for lessons and the teachers. In this process, they sponsor the formal education of the builders. In addition, they help to improve the quality of teaching and extra-curricular activities such as sporting events to encourage students to remain in school.

Our contribution and relationship

Having grown up in Zambia, our McKinsey-for-Children colleague Charlotte van Dixhoorn knows the area and ZAP, including its founder, well. She was particularly impressed by the emphasis ZAP placed on the sustainability of the project, by choosing a well-known area with an involved community and by providing what was needed (e.g., the buildings) for the school to become government-recognized and supported.
Since 2015 McKinsey-for-Children covers yearly school fees and practical items (e.g., uniform, shoes, raincoat, bicycle) for 100 girls at the school. Their parents have signed that the girls will stay in school to be able to receive the financial support. In this way, we hope to see them complete the full education cycle and become well-educated, independent and confident women.