Kayosha is a poor community in rural Zambia, a short drive from the Capital Lusaka. Here, life is tough, in particular for pregnant women and families with babies. The only health centre serves the local population of 15,000 people who live in 46 villages. But for many it is too far away from their homes to make the journey when they need healthcare.

Too often, crucial medical services for mothers and children are not used and this puts mothers and babies at high risk. St John International is supporting the local community to change this through its successful Mother and Baby Programme.

Learn more about our Mother and Baby Programme

And in Kayosha, we do things differently!

St John is meeting the urgent health needs of pregnant women, new mothers and infants in Kayosha, Zambia through its Mother and Baby Programme. We encourage women to be active in getting the healthcare they need and to safely start their journey into motherhood. At the same time we extend the reach and effectiveness of the public health services.

How we are helping

1. We train 55 local volunteers in safe motherhood issues, equip them and send them to visit pregnant women or new mothers within their community. Their visits provide help and encouragement to adopt healthy behaviours.

2. In addition, women are informed about what they should expect from the public system and supported to go and get the healthcare they need at the local clinic.

Our new activities

3. We set up maternal food banks which support 250 pregnant women from the poorest households in Kayosha. Food banks provide staple food to women who deliver safely in the local clinic.

4. St John volunteers, who are at the core of all our project activities, receive training and support to from savings and loans groups. These groups have been shown to increase financial stability when seasonal income is less available and help volunteers dealing with unplanned expenses e.g. for funerals.

5. Learning from our global experience, we want to expand the programme with new activities, such as working more with expectant and new fathers and targeting adolescents with family planning advice before their first pregnancy.

Story: Why Judith and Charles became St John Volunteers

I visited Zambia this summer for the first time and I was impressed to see how even the smallest donation helps people in one of the poorest countries changing their lives for the better. Please support St John’s Christmas Appeal so we can continue our work for the people who need us now.

The Right Reverend Timothy Stevens, Prelate of the Order of St John

In 2018 the Mother and Baby Programme was introduced in Kayosha,
supported by an annual grant from the City of Vienna Development Programme.