The Zambia Immersion Project
The Zambian immersion project has been running for several years in St.Fintan’s and the school has previously travelled to Livingstone, located in the South of Zambia for 2-3 weeks to work and volunteer within the local communities there.
The idea behind the immersion project is that students from our school travel to Zambia and become involved in all aspects of life in the community for the period of the time they are there. This involves working with school students, learning about customs and culture, helping with projects and volunteering in various different places such as orphanages, AIDS clinics and in the local schools.
Next June the school will again travel to Zambia. We have a group of 15 students and 6 teachers who will make the trip to Kabwe which is located in the north of Zambia, about a two hour car trip from the capital city of Lusaka.
St.Joseph’s CBS in Fairview have established some great links within the community in Kabwe and have also set up a charity organisation under the name of ZAMDA. We have been lucky enough to be able to link up with ZAMDA and get involved in what is a fantastic project in Kabwe.
One of the main areas where we will be based over the time we are in Kabwe is in Sables, which is the school run by ZAMDA which looks after almost 90 young boys and girls from the surrounding areas. All of these children live in extreme poverty and many have lost their parents at a young age. Sables gives them a daily focus in their lives and allows them to attend classes, have a shower each day, interact with other children and play sports and games. Over the last few years the projects undertaken by Irish groups have included building showers, building a piggery, working on the gardens. Painting the school and many other jobs.
When we travel to Kabwe, our group will work on a daily basis in Sables and it is an amazing opportunity for the students to interact and help some of these children. We will be aiming to have a nice project in place for us to focus on when we travel in 2013.
Our group will also take part in numerous other activities and tasks while we are in Kabwe. This will including visiting some of the children’s homes in Makalulu, one of the biggest slums in Africa. This is an eye opening experience and also helps us to understand where these children are coming from. We will also visit the Robert Shitima Secondary school which involves sampling some Zambian culture, music and dancing. Our group will have the chance to demonstrate some of our own cultural elements aswell which is always interesting!
Kangombe and Ranchood Hospice
We will also visit Kangombe community which is located an hour away from Kabwe in the Zambian countryside. This gives us an oppotunity to interact with a rural community and see how they live and the problems they face. Ranchood hospice is loacted quite close to Sables and has benefitted from ZAMDA’s help over the last few years. This hospice deals with many people who are suffering with AIDS and also has many orphans who are looked after here.
The final part of our trip is more leisurely and gives the students a chance to see the more touristy side of things in Livingstone. Here we will go on an overnight safari in neighbouring Botswana and also visit Victoria Falls which is one of the most amazing sights you’ll ever see! This part of the trip comes at the end and is something different and extremely memorable!
Eileen Freeman January 27th, 2016