Expedition 2012 - ZAMBIA
After a whole year of fundraising and preparation, the Zambia expedition team finally left Kesgrave on 6th July 2012 to travel to Zambia (via Kenya and surprisingly Zimbabwe). The fundraising phase was a fantastic experience for all expedition members with both individual effort and school based activities contributing to each team member’s target of £1900. All fundraising activities were organised by the team themselves, with just a little help with planning, permissions and supervision along the way. The enthusiasm and dedication from all team members was truly commendable.
Life in Zambia was a real culture shock for us all and it is difficult to describe the environment in which we immersed ourselves. Poverty is a real problem in the villages and life continues at a much slower pace. Stone-age technology is standard, but just a few miles away in Livingstone is a bustling centre of westernised culture that remains alien and out of reach to the vast majority. Education is clearly important to the young and yet school is often missed when food and water are not provided. Zambian Middle schools insist on each pupil providing their own exercise books, and when this is not possible they are simply turned away. For our own team this was a heart-wrenching situation and we helped with schooling provisions whenever possible.
Our own project was a great success with each team member really helping to make a difference. The playground at the pre-school was completely re-vamped, shelving, goal posts and signs made with tools and items that were borrowed, improvised or made to get our job done. The sense of achievement at the end of the week was over-whelming and we were able to leave the site in a safe condition that the whole community could use. In addition to our intended project we were also able to help the middle school by providing the materials and funds to allow the construction of a secure gate for the examination room. This was only made possible by the direct gift of funds from the team members.
The whole experience has been of immense value to each team member and through their efforts a significant difference has been made, and will continue to be made, to the young people of Sinde.
This expedition truly changed lives.