Kazembe Orphanage

Project No: F19

Project Managers:
Tom Morrow
Amy Morrow

Contact Info:

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Factoid: Zambia, a southern African country with a population of 13 million, has massive health problems relating to HIV/AIDS, so much so that according to official statistics, a large percentage of the working and professional class of Zambia will no longer be around in 10 years.

Currently, six out of ten Zambians are under 25 years of age, and one out of three lives on less than US$1.25/day.

Kazembe Orphanage


Project Managers: Tom Morrow, Amy Morrow

The vision for Kazembe Orphanage is to nurture and care for orphaned and abandoned Zambian children in a healthy, stimulating and safe environment, preparing them to lead productive lives and hopefully one day help contribute to rebuilding Zambia’s economy and infrastructure.

After receiving field training in Botswana, Tom and Amy Morrow moved to Zambia in 2002 and focused on the construction of schools for underprivileged children. The program included education, teacher training, medical checkups, as well as food and clothing distribution for the disadvantaged and local orphanages.

In 2006 plans were firmed up for an orphanage to be built in cooperation with the local social welfare department. AES moved to a village in the north of Zambia where they bought and proceeded to renovate and convert an abandoned motel property into an orphanage with staff quarters—rebuilding the existing structures and adding septic tanks, a borehole and water pump, electric lines and several new buildings. They opened their doors in October, 2007 taking in 5 children in the first 2 months.

The orphanage is now a warm and caring home to 21 babies and preschoolers, and employs 15 people both fulltime and part time. Volunteers come from worldwide to be trained in caring for the children.

Kazembe Orphanage focuses its intake of new children primarily on orphan children between the ages of 0-3, because this age group is so vulnerable. The children will then grow up as part of the Kazembe Orphanage family until they are 18 years old and ready to head off for college, university or a trade.

  • Much attention is placed on early education and development. The children are taught using advanced and modern teaching methods to ensure that their first years are used to the full.
  • Attention is placed on nutrition so that the babies and small children develop properly.
  • Caregivers are carefully chosen, based on their love for children and desire to help the children in their care to grow up well. 

The facility also includes a clinic, aiding them in providing the necessary care for rescuing very sick babies who are delivered into their care.

Additionally, a farming project—which includes rabbits, ducks, laying hens, a large vegetable garden and banana plantation—is helping the orphanage get closer to the goal of self-sustainability.

Kazembe, Zambia

The Latest From Kazembe Orphanage

For the latest news from Kazembe Orphanage, check out these newsletters and videos.

Orphans in Zambia

Zambia, in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, has a population of 13 million. Official statistics put the HIV/AIDS infection rate as high as 25% in urban areas, though it is more unofficially estimated at 45%. The number of orphans in the country is somewhere between 800,000 and 1,300,000 with statistics indicating that at least half of the children are orphaned as a direct result of HIV/AIDS -- though it is difficult to get accurate numbers in a country that has a large rural population.

History of Our Rural Orphanage

We undertook the renovation of a 30-room hotel, “way out in the boonies”, with the vision to convert this rural property into an orphanage, plus staff quarters.

Education, and a School in the Slums

Education is obviously a big factor in child development. Since Zambia is a developing country, these three educational essentials--schools, teachers and good educational material--are difficult to come by.

Misconceptions, and Existing Health Conditions

The average life expectancy for a Zambian is 38 years, ranking the third lowest in the world. Why is this? While we can put much of the blame on HIV/AIDS, the infection rate of many other diseases must also be factored in: Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis B.

Our “Chief Ministry”

Since our arrival in the country in 2002, we have been able to meet several chiefs from around Zambia. Now, not every foreign visitor to Zambia is able to make personal contact with these traditional rulers, let alone become well acquainted with them.


One morning in April, 2008, Tom Morrow, along with his daughter Jennifer were called to a small hut behind the clinic. Outside the hut, under a makeshift shelter, lying in the dirt was a young woman in the end stages of a terrible illness.


A few months after we had opened our doors to the community, Christmas Eve arrived and with it a man whose wife had just passed away the day before after a month long illness. His 5 month old baby, Janet lay bundled in his arms.


Baby Henry came to us the day after Christmas (also known as Boxing Day). Actually Henry's name was Hope Songolo but when we saw him we felt he deserved a more masculine name. 


Little Peter was brought to our door on a Thursday morning in October, 2009. He comes from a village called Lukwesa which is about a 30 minute drive south of our orphanage. His mom passed away during childbirth and though his family tried to care for him at first, because milk is so expensive here, they brought him to us. His grandmother had only been able to give him some formula from a sippy cup twice a day, and even that had become unaffordable.


The first time I met Nathan, nearly two years ago, he was in a tiny mud hut just off the main road leading into our village, Kazembe. I had been called to this home by his great-uncle, Kennedy. Nathan's mother was suffering from an enlarged heart from an infection. She had been in the hospital for a month and had been sent home by the hospital because "they had no medicine to help her". Basically she was on hospice care with no stronger medicine than Tylenol to relieve her symptoms.


Little Theresa became part of our family on Boxing Day, 2007. She is from a little village about 1 1/2 hours south of us. Theresa's mom died when she was only 6 months old. There was never a father in the picture so her grandmother took care of her for a year before bringing her to us. The grandmother was worried that she would not have been able to look after her for much longer.


Upon first opening our orphanage doors in 2007, we received two children, one of them a cute little boy named Chola. He was just two years old when his aunt brought him to us. His name is given to children who are born after a set of twins. Chola has twin siblings who are about 2 years older than him, and they come to play with him every Saturday.


Queenie was the second child we took in. She is one of our single orphan children. What this means is that although she has a father, she is considered in this country to be an orphan because her father is not able to provide for and care for her on his own.

More Photos of Kazembe Orphans

More Photos of Kazembe Orphans