Mwandi is a small town situated alongside the Zambezi River in the Western Province of Zambia in the region of Barotseland, 150km west of Livingstone and 70km east of Sesheke Town and Katima. The village has a population of approximately 10,000 people and its main source of income is fishing and agriculture.
Mwandi is inhabited by the very traditional Lozi Tribe and the people speak both Lozi and English depending on the age group, and is home to the Barotse Royal Establishment where Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta IV of the Lozi Tribe resides.
Local Port Lincoln resident Fiona Dixon-Thompson AM has spent many years in Mwandi establishing the Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s (OVC) Project. One in four people have HIV/Aids and life expectancy for men is 32 years and women 37 years. As a result of the high occurrence of HIV/Aids there are around 2500 orphans in the village.
The mission of the OVC is to “Promote an environment in which Orphans and Vulnerable Children are cared for, supported bodily, mentally, socially, morally, spiritually and with emphasis on education, nutrition and social support to facilitate a meaningful life”.
There are a number of different programs run by the OVC Project and are mostly based around the Drop in Centre. The feeding programme, counselling, medical support, vegetable gardens and school support are among the major programs run out of the OVC Project. Over 170 children are provided with one balanced meal per day and 250 children are supported in schools.
Port Lincoln and the Districts on Eyre Peninsula has supported the OVC Project for 15 years and over that time has donated over one million dollars to the Project.
The Port Lincoln Mwandi Support Group encourages the Port Lincoln and Eyre Peninsula communities to continue to support them in their mission to provide aid and resources to the people of Mwandi. The aim of the local support group is to develop a close and beneficial relationship between the people of Port Lincoln and Mwandi.