Volunteering in Africa: Children’s Town Zambia

It’s been 3 months that feels like 3 weeks since we started our volunteering in Africa in Children’s Town, Zambia. We are very happy and working hard to create better conditions for the place and the children.

volunteering in africa

Life impressions of volunteering in Africa

Life here is comfortable, there are no big spiders, no big lizards and most importantly, no mosquitos. However, there are a lot of smiles, dancing, singing, and long days.

We found out that even Africa can be very, VERY cold! You can wear winter clothes, thick winter socks, and jackets and still be freezing! But we are told that the heat will come with full strength in the middle of August 😀

Whoever told us that we would lose weight during volunteering in Africa is a big liar! Both Sara and Cassandra are already becoming 2 small balloons. We are enjoying the Zambian food, and all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, we are experimenting with expanding production in the project’s bakery, trying out new recipes testing them for ourselves 😉

Volunteering in Africa

Our Big Projects

Our first month went very fast, with getting to know people, the place and how we could improve it. First, of our 2 projects, was putting up a water-pump for the garden, to ensure enough water for producing vegetables. It has taken us approximately two months, and now we finally see the end of the long tunnel. Honestly, we have spent more than one of the two months waiting…

For the second project, we intended to build a chicken-house, but we found that people had expectations impossible to fulfill. They asked us 12000$ (!!!) to build a chicken house for 300 chicken.

In the end, we were invited into the nearby community, where we found 46 children who didn’t have a preschool. They had their lessons in the local church, with insufficient light and no tables. Due to this, our second project recently changed course, and now we are building a preschool. The parents and other locals are very eager to do the project with us. They are molding bricks, digging out the fundament, and volunteering to build the structure as well. We are short on the budget, but we try to promote the fundraising, so we manage to finish the school.

Our Smaller Projects

Parallel with building the school, because that is something we can only do in our free time, we are making changes in the menu of the school together with the staff within the walls of Children´s Town. We are trying to make them focus on the nutritious values, and helping them to ensure that they are cooking healthy and affordable food for the children, while Peter started to teach and make the own compost for the school by using the food waste from the kitchen.

At the same time, our focus is to help the kids mainly in mathematics, agriculture, and English. We have participated in classes, helped after school, having football training and developed individual clubs, for the ones who are interested in learning more.

Volunteering in Africa

Cassandra with her magic hands has been creating teaching aids for the classrooms – drawings, showing pictures from different topics because the students don’t have books themselves. The teaching aids, are mainly for the slower learners, and visual learners and also for preschool and grade 1, to make learning more fun and colorful.

The Biggest Challenge of volunteering in Africa

As Europeans volunteering in Africa, African Time is something that needs getting used to! But it has become a very familiar term for us, and probably also our biggest challenge. However, it has been a great lesson, to realize things need more time and you cannot do much about it. Even though we had heard about African time before, to experience it has been an entirely different thing.

Here is an example: When we need building materials, we have to plan a week before so we can take the project car to Lusaka. When in Lusaka, we need help from someone, to buy the materials, because they overcharge us (Mzungu Price) and sell us the wrong things. It is also tough to make plans with anyone, because “something urgent” always comes up, and they never let us know. Everything is in African time, even when we want to take a bath or do the laundry, the water suddenly is gone. Or we want to cook, but the electricity disappears.

So our message to all of you going to Africa: Pack a lot of patience in your bag! Take a deep breath, count to 10, relax, and don’t give up!

Open Future

Now we are halfway, it’s weird and wonderful. Next 3 months, we are going to be very busy, trying to finish all our projects before we return home.
Working hard on finishing the school and planning to build two table-tennis tables for the kids. Establish a second garden, just for the kitchen, produce bread and sell from the bakery.  Ensure a high pass rate for the grade 7 and 9 exams. That’s a lot but we can manage, and enjoy the last half as much as the first one!

African Love

Volunteering in Africa DAPP Children’s Town is a wonderful place mainly because of the people, precisely the children. They have reached our hearts, and we enjoy all the time we spend with them. We are especially close to the “borders” grade 7-9 who also live here. They are the funniest, but most of them have a very painful background, from vulnerable homes or from the streets. It is a very inspiring place to be, where we experience dedication and gratefulness like never before. The African love is more significant than any other. We want to send African love from Zambia to Norway, and remind everyone to be dedicated, grateful, and happy!

Cassandra & Sara with Kids
Many hugs and kisses from Peter, Sara, and Cassandra

PS: You can always help to finish their goal with a DONATION!  🙂

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.