In a country challenged by poverty and disease, Room to Read Zambia works with the government on our Literacy and Girls' Education Programs. Our expertise allows us to improve early grade education, help revise national curriculum and policy, and help prevent child marriages.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Disease, Poverty Thwart Development

Since gaining independence in 1964, Zambia’s breadth of natural resources (copper and fresh water) has enabled economic growth. Despite this trend, 60 percent of the population still lives in poverty, as new wealth distributes unevenly between the urban and rural. Zambia’s development has been slowed by limited investment capital, a legacy of authoritarian leadership, poor infrastructure, corruption, and disease. Almost 13 percent of the population ages 15 to 49 have HIV, and more than 20 percent of Zambian children have lost one or both parents to the illness. Many others suffer from malaria.

Our Work in Zambia
Room to Read Zambia was founded in 2007, and we maintain deep relationships with the Zambian government and its partners, including UNICEF. We have been recognized for our technical competencies and ability to build teacher capacity. As a result, we have been invited to help revise the national curriculum. Between 2012 and 2014, we influenced partnership with the Ministry of General Education and UNICEF to host the National Literacy Symposia, the only of its kind in Zambia. This event enabled the government to work with non-profits to revise and update the National Literacy Framework.

Room to Read works across Lusaka, Eastern and Southern Province.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Poor Infrastructure, Language Transition Impede Literacy

Inequalities between rural and urban populations in Zambia extend to education. Around 23 percent of rural primary school children are out of school, compared to only 9 percent in urban areas. Schools must accommodate many students with limited resources, inside mostly run-down buildings and with teachers who have little or no training in very difficult conditions.

Challenges in Girls’ Education

The female literacy rate in Zambia is around 12 percent lower than the male literacy rate. This is due to endemic early marriage, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment, child labor, and gender-biased school structures. The Zambian government has attempted to reform the education system, and conditions are slowly improving. In 1996 the government eliminated all school fees for grades 1 through 7, improving access. Recently, the government also began working on a revised curriculum and literacy framework, and committed to improving teaching methodologies and supporting teacher development.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Support Our Work

Government to Implement Room to Read Pro-Literacy Policy

Room to Read has built strong relationships with the Zambian government since we launched our programs there in 2007. As a result, we have been invited to recommend national education policy improvements. Our team proposed the idea and collaborated with the government of the Republic of Zambia and UNICEF to host the third National Literacy Symposium in March of 2014, which produced recommendations that the Zambian government plans to implement broadly; these include requiring libraries in primary schools, adding library management to the government’s teacher training curriculum, introducing library periods at primary schools, and providing an allowance for school librarians. We were also invited in 2015 to participate in reviewing the policy that will guide the Zambian government as they plan for long-term education reform.

Summit to End Child Marriage

The majority of child marriages occur in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where they challenge girls’ ability to become educated. In addition to working directly with girls and families to prevent early marriages, we also help change social norms governing girls’ education and marriage. In 2015, we participated in the first African Union summit on ending child marriage, held in Zambia. National ministries and thought leaders working to advance girls’ rights across the continent attended. Our team shared our experiences and best practices from our Girls’ Education Program and helped draft a strategic plan for ending child marriage in Zambia.

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved. Join Our Team

Room to Read Zambia
Plot 5763 Kabompo Close, Kalundu
Lusaka

Postnet 168 Kabulonga P/B E835

Phone:

+260-211-264691
+260-211-262216
+260-971-054190
+260-966-003346

More local information coming soon!

Philip's Story

Fueling a love for reading in Zambia

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.
Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

2.5x

Second grade students in Literacy Program schools read 2.5 times as fast as students in nearby control schools.

2.5x

Second grade students in Literacy Program schools read 2.5 times as fast as students in nearby control schools.

2,000

Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program has supported nearly 2,000 girls in Zambia since 2008.

2,000

Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program has supported nearly 2,000 girls in Zambia since 2008.

The Latest from Zambia

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

#ThankstoEducation I Love School and Refuse to Play Soccer When I Should Be in C...


November 05, 2015

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

The Results Are In: Libraries Matter.


March 14, 2015

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Fighting for the Right to an Education - VIDEO: Philip's Story


November 20, 2014

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

A Small Miracle


October 22, 2014

Literacy, Zambia

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

More Than Good Advice


September 18, 2014

Girls' Education, Zambia

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Passing the Torch in Zambia: Let's Talk About Sustainability


April 10, 2014

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Building Libraries, Building Dreams in Zambia


February 04, 2014

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

Guest Blog: The Thrill of a New School Library in Zambia...Especially for Parent...


December 03, 2013

Literacy, Africa

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Video Blog: Working with Communities to Promote a Culture of Reading


September 02, 2013

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

In Zambia, Encouragement from a Friend Helps Nchimunya Conquer Her Fears


August 01, 2013

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

In Zambia, Westwood Basic School Builds a Habit of Reading by Bringing Parents t...


March 15, 2013

Literacy, Zambia

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Room to Read is a leading nonprofit for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Zambia. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

In Zambia, Room to Read Literacy Materials Inspire a Mother to Action


January 25, 2013

Literacy, Zambia

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