Community Centers for Child Services

Topic: Community Space

Location: Various locations, including Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Philippines, Zambia

Organizers: Children International

The Project: The charitable organization Children International implements its Brick by Brick Program, which builds multi-purpose community centers in various developing countries. These centers are effective because they allow for the provision of a variety of services to children in one central location. Most centers include medical and dental clinics, a library, meeting spaces and family services.

The David C. Emmett community center in Chibolya, a town on the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia, opened in August of 2007. Made possible through Children International’s pool of donors, the center was built to serve at least 5,000 children and their families who rely on it for educational assistance, health and dental care, nutritional support, youth programs, material aid and family support.  It has a full-time doctor and nurse, as well as a dental clinic, pharmacy and feeding room for children to receive nutritional support. There is also a community space for meetings and training. The location was chosen due to the area’s high unemployment rate and lack of education and health facilities. The organization is planning to build the third of these community centers in Zambia.

Transferability: The project was highlighted in the I2UD’s research for the city of Arusha, Tanzania, which has a high urbanization rate and is looking to expand infrastructure to rapidly growing peri-urban areas.

Finances: The Brick by Brick centers are built and maintained through private donor funding.

For a list of more Children International Community Centers:

David C. Emmett Center: