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From development project to locally-managed business

23.12.2022

Since 2012, SolidarMed has been building houses for staff with the support of the Hilti Houndation to provide attractive accommodation at remote healthcare facilities.

At many health centres and hospitals in rural Zambia, there is a lack of accommodation for healthcare workers and their families, which makes recruiting and retaining good medical staff a challenge. Since 2012, SolidarMed has been building homes for staff with the support of the Hilti Foundation so that rural healthcare facilities can also offer attractive housing for staff. In this way, SolidarMed is working to tackle the acute shortage of healthcare workers in rural areas. In 2024, the investment and development project is to become an independent social enterprise.

The lack of accommodation for medical staff in rural areas is recognised and a business model is developed to build and let out private staff houses. The revenue is to go back into maintaining the houses and building new ones. 

Work starts on building staff houses at rural hospitals. This helps retain healthcare workers and improves the quality of care provided at the hospitals. 

The project is scaled up to include the building of more staff houses. In parallel, the vocational training programme for locals in bricklaying and plastering is launched. The competent Zambian authority is involved in the project.

Blocks are manufactured from earth locally in a manufacturing process that emits less CO2. Existing accommodation is renovated and integrated in the project. The vocational training programme is scaled up to include other occupations, such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical engineering including solar power.  

The project is taken to the next level and is to become a self-sustaining social enterprise that offers trusted housing solutions and support services to tenants and partners. In addition to the staff houses, student hostels are built to also accommodate students in remote locations. 

All essential healthcare workers should have access to affordable, high-quality housing in rural Zambia. Additional student hostels are to be built. Vocational training programme to resume once a more profitable model has been developed. 

Ubuntu Homes will let out the existing staff homes and will take care of maintaining them. The over 120 homes in three different provinces make a significant contribution to more sustainable healthcare. SolidarMed and the Hilti Foundation will largely be stepping back from this project at the end of the year and handing the operational management over to local actors.


Training is an investment in the future

Learn more about how SolidarMed is addressing the lack of qualified health professionals in rural Africa.

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Your donation helps train health professionals and improves the quality of medical care in rural hospitals in southern Africa. Thank you very much!