In 1964, the government invited the American Friends Service Committee to participate in the self-help housing economic and social development of Zambia, and again, in 1974 to promote community participation in the Lusaka settlement up-grading and sites-and services programme.
In 1982, AFSC Zambia became Human Settlements of Zambia by handing over to Zambian staff. With the redirection of Zambias declining copper-based economy toward agricultural development and small-scale industry, HUZAs programme has changed. The focus is now on promoting income-earning activities, improving nutrition and health and reducing living and house-building costs all with the participation of women and youth.
HUZA promotes self-help and self-reliance for development in human settlements. In a low-income country with few international market prospects, reducing costs-of-living and increasing incomes are complementary. HUZA promotes local income-earning training and local enterprise, helping people to get more from their own resources and to improve programmes that often overlap: Shelter Provision and improvement through technical assistance and training, lending.
Women are acknowledged as a mahor force in HUZA programmes, Women combine child-bearing and rearing with managing the houseld economies. It is they who introduce changes of health practices and nutrition. Women are the principal gardeners, urban farmers and market traders. Most of income-generating cooperative enterprises, for soap-making and clothing, for instance are by and for women. The management of home-building and much of the labour is provided by women.