Lilato Residential Support Centre, Mongu


Lilato Residential Support Centre, Mongu

Based in one of Zambia's poorest regions in the Western Province, our Lilato Centre provides short-term residential care to children referred to us by our other projects, as well as some heart-breaking cases referred to us by the local authorities.

'Lilato' means 'love' in Zambia, and there is certainly a lot of it here. This Centre provides short-term residential care for some of the worst cases we come across, where it is simply too unsafe for the child to go home, or where we have been unable to identify their family. 

The rural Mongu region in Zambia's Western Province is one of the poorest in the country. Poverty is so bad that girls are especially vulnerable from assault and child marriage, where many are married off because their family can't afford to feed them.

There are also high rates of (sexual) violence against girls (and women), with negligible levels of impunity, especially in the more remote areas. 

Lilato provides short-term residential care for some of the worst cases referred to us by our Care and Justice project, as well as some from our Babies in Prison project (one of Zambia's prisons is located in Mongu). We are also very well known in the area because of our Kids Alive Academy, so local communities and authorities also refer other heart-breaking cases to us. 

As with our Chikondi Centre in Lusaka, we provide the child with food, residential care, clothing, trauma counselling and spiritual input, an education, plus lots of love, with our staff working hard to make sure every child knows they are an important part of the world. Organised play time helps them to develop well socially, and Bible studies teach them about God’s great love for them.

For the older girls, we hope to develop livelihood support and tertiary education programmes for them, as some are too old to be integrated back into a family. They are able to stay at Lilato until they find their feet. 

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46: 1

Lilato Residential Centre: A story of hope

Meet Benjamin (name changed to protect privacy)

Like most of the children in our home, Benjamin experienced loss and pain at a young age. He never knew his father, and when he was just a toddler his mother and grandparents died. Some relatives from his mother’s side took him in but he was neglected and physically abused until someone intervened.

At the age of three, he was brought to Kids Alive. We gave him a safe place to live, healthy food, and acceptance. And though he thrived in our care, he was lonely when other boys would go to visit relatives during holidays, as he didn’t know any of his family.

Benjamin is now a hard-working, humble young man who loves God. He is a successful student and plans to become an accountant one day. He says he wants to use his skills to make a difference in his community for the glory of God. What a wonderful surprise it was when we located several relatives from his mother’s side who began to build a relationship with Benjamin! Now that he has a sense of belonging and identity, he is happier and more confident walking into his future as an adult.

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