ZaRP is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Andrew (Taff) Lyons, one of our founders.  We are extremely grateful for all he did for ZaRP.

Welcome to ZaRP

ZaRP exists to reduce the number of people who die every day as a result of insufficient food. It does this by building direct links between people in the UK and people in Zambia.

Many people in the UK have received informal support at critical stages of their lives. This support could have come from their family, friends, teachers, work colleagues or other members of their local communities. Often this support allowed them to make changes that led to significant improvements in their lives and in the lives of those they cared for. Often the people giving the support also benefited from the experience. We see providing this support as mentoring, although in everyday speech in the UK the term is often used to describe a more formal hierarchical relationship.

ZaRP seeks to use the skills of many thousands of the people in the UK who could provide such mentoring to Zambian families but either don’t realise it or don’t know how to. Some of these people give money to charities but would

ZaRP is a network of partnerships that link people in the UK directly with people in poor rural communities in Zambia. The network provides support, information and small interest free loans at critical stages in people’s lives. This support enables them to produce more food and develop a more commercial approach.

There is no requirement for partners in either the UK or Zambia to fund any central overheads. UK partners do not need any knowledge of Africa or farming. They can, however, help to transform the lives of people struggling to survive by:

  • Providing the continuing support and encouragement that helps people through a process of change.
  • Making an interest free revolving loan of 1,000 Kwacha  to take away some of the risks of change.  Since 2010 1 thousand Kwacha has varied in value between £60 and £130 as the price of copper and consequent strength of the Kwacha has varied.

Usually the technical content of such support is easy for someone with internet access to obtain; it is the encouragement that adds the most value. Loans are effective as they reach more people than gifts. Also they emphasise a commercial approach and partnership rather than charity. Gifts from UK to Zambian partners are discouraged.

Many of the farming techniques currently used in Zambia cause soil exhaustion and falling yields. ZaRP wants to see food production increase as a result of a return to more sustainable and appropriate farming techniques. ZaRP doesn’t train people; it complements the work carried out by existing charities and donors in Zambia. They fund and deliver training in sustainable farming. ZaRP provides the one-to-one continuing support that is prohibitively expensive for the charities to provide but that is essential for embedding change.

These are early days for ZaRP. For the past year we have been running prototype projects in Southern Province and the Copperbelt. We have learnt a lot and modified our approach. We are now entering the growth stage.

See How to get involved to find out more.