How to Pack a Christmas Shoebox for Lubasi Children’s Home

For over 15 years, Jollyboys has worked closely with Lubasi Children’s Home, based in the Maramba area of Livingstone. ‘Lubasi’ means family, and this home provides so much love, comfort and support for all who pass through the doors.

Christmas at Lubasi is a highlight of the Jollyboys’ year – a large, traditional Christmas lunch is sponsored for all of the children and school staff and Jollyboys welcomes all of our guests to join in the festivities.  Christmas carols, dancing, a feast and excited children – just what every traveller needs while away from home for the holidays.

We kindly ask a few things in return:

1. Please respect the children of Lubasi Home by not taking pictures.

2. Please bring in advance a donation towards the individual Christmas boxes that we give each and every one of the over 45 children.

Shoe boxes with each child’s name, age and gender are located in the reception of Jollyboys Backpackers. Children are aged between five and 18 years of age, with most being teenagers. 

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Please look through the suggestions below for items to bring out from home, or consider making an even bigger impact and purchasing these items locally.  Items do not have to be brand new – gently used is also very appreciated.

Sports equipment:

Footballs/soccer balls are always a winner!

Ball pumps/bicycle pumps

Rugby balls, tennis balls, cricket balls and bats

Football/soccer cleats

Footballs/soccer socks


Tip: Buy balls that can be deflated and pumped up once you are in Livingstone to save luggage space. 


Plush toys – teddy bears and the like


Tip: Don’t give toys which require batteries or have too many pieces that can get lost.


Board games (with all pieces)


Puzzle books


Hair bands and clips








Tip: School supplies and clothing are also great options and easy to purchase whilst in Livingstone.

Please contact us with any questions about our work with the kids and staff of Lubasi Children’s Home. 

What does Zambian Independence Day mean to you?

Every year on October 24th, Zambia celebrates its Independence Day to commemorate the day that freedom was achieved from British Rule.  The public holiday is celebrated throughout the country with street parades and merriment.  Throughout the month of October, the Zambian colours of red, green, black and orange start to adorn many businesses and homes, and fabrics in a myriad of patriotic colours are sewn into amazing Chitenge designs.

On 24 October 1964, what was Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia, with Dr Kenneth Kaunda as the first president.  The father of our nation is still going strong and enjoys dancing and partaking in the national celebrations. 

This year marks Zambia’s 55th birthday and our Jollyboys staff will be CELEBRATING! We asked the staff…

“What does Independence Day mean to you?”


Zambian Independence Day, Jollyboys Backpackers, Backpack Zambia, Livingstone Backpackers

Though I’m Zambian, my parents worked abroad and I grew up in South Africa and Botswana.  We generally only celebrated Zambian Independence Day when we had family visiting since we didn’t have many other Zambians around where we lived.  I moved back to Zambia when I was about 15 years old, and Independence Day was the biggest party of the year.  Lots of drinking and lots of chicken and rice (which seems to be what everyone wants during a celebration in Zambia).  I love the Zambian chitenge patterns that are available just before Independence Day and the creative outfits that are showcased on the day. 


Zambian Independence Day, Jollyboys Backpackers, Backpack Zambia, Livingstone Backpackers

I can remember as a child that on Independence Day, we had the day off of school and we would play Waida which is a game where 2 people use a rope and a third person jumps over.  I could play this for hours before sitting down to a meal of chicken and rice with my family.  On most other days in Zambia we eat Nshima but on a celebration, we generally have chicken and rice.


Zambian Independence Day, Jollyboys Backpackers, Backpack Zambia, Livingstone Backpackers

My family all gets together on Independence Day and it is like a family reunion in Livingstone.  My great grandmother is still alive and was around in 1964 when Zambia gained Independence.  She always sits down with the family and recalls stories of how life was before Independence and how things have changed since. Then we all have a meal of chicken and rice.