Livingstone, a city of 114,000 people, has the highest AIDS incidence in Zambia, with 31% of the adult population being HIV-positive. Deaths from AIDS have resulted in a very large number of orphan children, and although by Zambian tradition, orphans are cared for by the extended family, there are many whose remaining relatives can no longer cope with the number of orphan children. At least 80% of Zambians are living in extreme poverty, which is exacerbated by the AIDs pandemic.
Lubasi Home resulted from the vision of a Livingstone resident, Mr Antony Ranjan, a Sri Lankan, who felt the need to do something for the orphans who are not being cared for, many living on the streets. Mr M C Patel of the Chhaganlal family offered capital funding from the proceeds of his businesses in Livingstone. The Social Welfare Department of the Zambian Government offered some buildings which used to be a Place of Safety for vagrants and destitute people, but had not been used for some years due to lack of funds.
The Catholic Bishop of Livingstone was approached for support in providing supervisory staff, and found two religious sisters and a brother to act as part time administrators. We now have one full-time religious sister, Sister Brigita from Indonesia, a member of the Holy Spirit Sisters.
A Board of Trustees was formed in October 2001 and renovation of the buildings and erection of a boundary wall were completed in March 2002, when staff were engaged and the Home opened with 10 children selected by the Social Welfare Department. Numbers soon increased to 20, mostly double orphans.