Healthy Kids/Brighter Future (HK/BF) is a mission based initiative founded by an amazing young leader, Lonnie Hackett. The goal of this Maine native and 2014 Bowdoin graduate is to improve the health and learning of at risk children in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Lusaka, Zambia. The program trains a teacher health corps and makes local schools a point of access to primary healthcare and health information.
In 2015, Ipswich Rotary began partnering with the Rotary Club of Brunswick, Maine to raise funds to support this important health and peace initiative. Under the leadership of Past President Bob Gravino, several clubs from our Rotary District joined Brunswick and Ipswich in raising over $37,000 in 2016 through a Global Matching Grant from Rotary International.
When Lonnie began his work as an undergraduate in 2013, he learned that up to 40% of students in Lusaka schools were suffering from treatable diseases and malnutrition. Working with the Nkwazi Rotary Club in Lusaka and other local health care providers, HK/BF began expanding the teacher health corps. Beginning with 5 schools in 2014, the program now supports 50 schools and over 95 teachers, reaching more than 11,000 students. With a 45% increase in people seeking health care, and as a result of the program’s success, the Zambian Government has begun assuming responsibility for the sustainable programs.
With the support he has received from Rotary, Lonnie hopes that HK/BK will be serving 25,000 students within six months.
More information about the HK/BF project is available at HK/BF also is on Facebook.