The Story of susu Community

Hands at Work identified Susu as a village with particularly high rates of HIV/AIDS and low access to support services; government clinics, hospitals and schools are too far away for the local people to access. Though the situation in Susu is desperate, the local Care Worker team, with the support of partners outside the community, is making a great impact. Many of the children visited by Susu Community Based Organisation (CBO) attend the Community School, which was started by a local church in 2004. The school has 6 volunteer teachers, dedicating their time to giving 250 children in Susu a basic education. The school used to meet under the trees but in faith, the community made bricks for a school. In 2011, a large building with two classrooms and an office for the teachers was built. This has made a huge difference to the community. Having shelter means the school can continue during the rainy season and now the children have desks to work at.

Children currently supported: 150

Number of Care Workers: 17

Coordinator Name: Sanday

Distance from Kabwe Local Office: 45 km

Basic Services Started: 2011


In a community like Susu, which relies heavily on the land for producing crops, a poor rainfall for two consecutive years, puts many people’s lives in jeopardy. The drought has caused Susu to suffer which has greatly affected the harvest. Crops have failed and the community is now facing serious food shortages. Accessing clean water has always been a challenge in the community of Susu, but now with streams drying up, people are forced to rely solely on dirty water. This, in turn, increases the spread of water-borne diseases, and people are getting severely ill. The local office in Kabwe is working urgently to come up with a plan to address the water challenges.

Susu community is actively coming together to form cooperatives, which will help in accessing government-subsidised fertiliser. Sanday, the Coordinator, has an agricultural background, which he is using to assist the Care Workers in a small-scale Income Generating Activity (IGA) of growing cabbages.

Susu CBO is currently caring for 150 children through the provision of food, education and health care, including home visits. Visiting orphaned and vulnerable children in their homes is the foundation of everything Hands at Work does. Community volunteers, who regularly visit the children of Susu, build up strong relationships enabling them to support each child physically, emotionally and spiritually. This also helps them to accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them.

Meet Roberta

Roberta* lives with her grandmother in a family of six, following the death of her father in 2008 and her mother subsequently abandoning the family. Since being identified by her Care Worker, Vailet, Roberta is now able to go to school and she receives a hot, nutritious meal at the Life Centre every day. Roberta is a happy girl found smiling, as in this photo, to all she meets!

The Hands at Work office in Kabwe currently supports six Community Based Organisations, which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The office provides training, networking, and encouragement to those Community Based Organisations like Susu. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.