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Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

Livingstone, Zambia
from £845 (10 days)

Ref: AV017

'Mosi-oa-tunya' - "The Smoke That Thunders" -  is the local description of the spray created by the world famous Victoria Falls, the number one tourist attraction in Zambia, and only a stone's throw from the town of Livingstone - the location of the project and the adventure capital of Africa. Here volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in health promotion activities and HIV education within the communities of Livingstone and give help to the busy staff by assisting with non-clinical duties in local clinics where they will gain valuable healthcare/medical experience by observing the patient care provided by the local staff.  A wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in learning about healthcare in Africa and making a real difference to the communities in this exciting town and the surrounding areas. 

Who can join: 18 years and over
Accommodation: Dedicated volunteer complex
Transfer time: approx. 15 minutes
Pick up Point: Livingstone airport
Meals: Meals included (except weekends)
Volunteer numbers: 20

Duration & Fees

10 days£845
2 weeks£939
3 weeks£1,192
4 weeks£1,445
5 weeks£1,756
6 weeks£2,065
7 weeks£2,305
8 weeks£2,540

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

Volunteers can join this project on any Monday throughout the year. This project is open year round.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Financing that goes directly back into the projects to cover items such as building materials, materials etc. Project fees are also used to buy vehicles and equipment and for developing the housing for volunteers to allow for expansion of the projects.
  • Airport transfers to and from Livingstone Airport on arrival and departure
  • Full daily support from Project Managers
  • Full board and lodging which includes three meals a day throughout the week.  Weekend meals are self catered on this project.
  • Full orientation and induction on arrival
  • Daily transfers to and from projects

What's not included

  • Personal travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Personal items eg clothes, travel goods
  • Transport by air or bus to Livingstone
  • Use of internet (email) and telephone
  • Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and snacks
  • Visas and any trips undertaken other than in the planned programme

Project Description:

Shocking statistics such as 1.2 million people in Zambia living with HIV and 63% of adults on antiretroviral treatment, coupled with less than 40% of the population having comprehensive knowledge on the subject highlights the severity of medical issues Zambian residents face daily. Rural village communities surrounding the town of Livingstone have very limited access to any form of healthcare and often only have immediate family members for support. There are few clinics around and those that do exist, are severely under-resourced with lengthy queues and staff that work long hours with limited equipment available to them. The prevalence of HIV, malnutrition, TB, high blood pressure and diabetes are just some issues that a large percentage of the residents of local Zambian communities battle with. With these clinics often too far away or with patients unable to afford transport to reach them, get involved at a grass roots level and assist local caregivers with home based care. Make your impact through medical care, education, support and awareness, whilst gaining a better understanding of Zambian society and local healthcare available.

Healthcare and Community Development Project

Why Should You Join?

  • Accompany caregivers to provide home based care to members of the community in need and immerse yourself in traditional Zambian life
  • Help alleviate the busy workload of staff by assisting in local clinics, and gain valuable healthcare experience by observing patient care being provided by local staff
  • Participate in vital community education to encourage healthy lifestyle choices through workshops and health talks
  • Conduct HIV education within the communities of Livingstone where the disease affects vast proportions of the population
  • Help provide support for the residents in the local old peoples' homes
  • Work on a variety of community-based projects in the afternoons
  • Make friends for life with other international volunteers
  • Visit the majestic Victoria Falls, also known as "The Smoke that Thunders" and enjoy some of the amazing tourist activities that Livingstone has to offer
  • Take opportunities to visit neighbouring countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe, on exciting optional exercusions

This project has two distinct areas of work: Healthcare/Medical Project and Community Development Projects

Home Based Care
Volunteers accompany local caregivers across several Livingstone communities and help to provide Home Based Care by carrying out household visits to patients who suffer from a variety of illnesses.  The aim is to give comfort, education and treatment adherence advice to members of the community who are between clinic visits, or find it difficult to access the clinics.  Listening to the patients' stories with an empathetic ear is an invaluable way to provide comfort and support as a volunteer.  Talking to patients about the significance of hygiene, a healthy diet and exercise is often an essential part of this healthcare service, as is providing information about he vital importance of adhering to medication regimes.

Please Note: Home Based Care can be quite a confronting and an emotional experience as we visit some under-privileged areas of the community:  however, volunteers almost always comment that it is a valuable experience that offers a deeper insight into the lives of those suffering from illness, and gives them a better understanding of Zambian society and local healthcare available.

Community Health and Nutrition Education
Volunteers help with providing community education about HIV and health and nutrition using an approved syllabus and help from local staff with translating.  Education is vital in providing the local community with the knowledge and ability to make healthy lifestyle choices within their environment.  Access to HIV health and nutrition is key to improving health and empowering people who face so many challenges on a daily basis. 

Volunteers can help to facilitate courses on a variety of healthcare topics including HIV/AIDS, nutrition, cervical cancer and women's health. The presence of volunteers is key in motivating community members to attend education classes, not only for the knowledge shared but also as a means to connect with people from around the world.

Please Note:  As partnerships are mainly with local high schools and training centres, the opportunity to particpate in community health education may be affected by the Zambian school hollidays.

Clinics
Clinics in Livingstone constantly battle with serious shortages of staff and basic medical equipment.  The help  the volunteers is greatly appreciated by the nurses in the clinics, as their assistance with tasks such taking basic vitals allows the staff to see and treat the vast numbers of people depending on the clinics for healthcare more quickly.  Volunteers have the chance to observe the care being given to patients by the local staff in several clinics in Livingstone which gives valuable insight into the healthcare services in Zambia.  The clinics have several departments including outpatients for adults and children, HIV and TB services, pharmacy and maternity.

Maramba Old People's Home
 (MOPH)
This home is poorly funded by the government and few of the residents have any family to look after them.  Volunteers provide a friendly face and a chance for a chat for people who often have very little interaction with others outside the home.  Volunteers sometimes conduct health talks about personal hygiene and health with the elderly residents and may also assist staff with encouraging mobility and weighing residents.

Afternoon Community Projects

Volunteers will spend the afternoons helping the local community through various afternoon programmes. They will rotate between the following:

Farming
Help communities set up sustainable farming programmes and provide assistance in preparing the land, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting.

Reading Club
Assist with running afterschool reading club, help teach the alphabet, phonics, spelling, pronunciation and general reading and comprehension skills.

Art Club
Nurture students' creativity through exciting lesson plans with different art and crafts methods.

Adult Literacy Club
Work with adults in the community to improve their literacy with a structured syllabus for beginner/intermediate/advanced classes.

Afterschool Clubs
Run structured playtimes at pre-selected locations with activities such as balls, jump ropes, colouring books and crayons in a safe and nurturing environment.

Maramba Old People's Home
Engage the residents in games, reading and activities that provide stimulation and improve their living conditions.

How is all comes together

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fr
AM Supporting a local clinic Home based care in a rural community Health care at Old People's Home Health and nutrician education Home based care in a rural community
Lunch Meet the team and your fellow volunteers Enjoy the swimming pool, check out one of the local markets or relax in your new home Merchandise Sale Worshop on THAF or Aims and Achievements Project check in and Cultural Lunch
PM Old People's Home or Maths Club After School Club or Adult Literacy Reading Club or Youth Group Adult Literacy or Art Club Maths Club or Farming/Environmental 
Evening Movie Night Free time to enjoy the Backpackers or explore Livingstone Braai and Games Night Sundowners over the Zambezi River Weekend Begins

 

  Sat Sun
AM Bungee Jump or Gorge Swing over the Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls White water rafting down the Zambezi River - Day Trip
PM Dinner/Sunset Cruise on Zambezi River  


School Term Dates 2018
15 January - 13 April; 14 May - 10 August; 10 September - 7 December

Please note that during school holidays volunteers will be involved with various holiday club activities.

Public Holidays 2018
1 January - New Year's Day
8 March - Women's Day
12 March - Youth Day
30 March - Good Friday
2 April - Easter Monday
1 May - Labour Day
25 May - African Freedom Day
2 July - Hero's Day
3 July - Unity Day
6 August - Farmers Day
18 October - National Prayer Day
24 October - Independence Day
25 December - Christmas Day

Volunteers should note that as much of the work is within local communities and schools, the projects are affected by these dates.  During the school holidays some of the projects have a slightly different structure or are put on hold while the children are on holiday.  Volunteers are asked to be flexible as there is no shortage of important and rewarding work to be done at these times.

Optional Excursions

Most volunteers want to explore their surroundings and below are some highlights for spare time - these are not included in the project fee and prices are given as a guideline only as they are subject to change.  Volunteer co-ordinators will be happy to help with making the necessary arrangements

  • Spend 2 nights on an island paradise in the Zambezi, inclusive of several activities & meals
  • Spend your weekend on safari at the Chobe National Park
  • The world’s most exciting white water rafting on the Zambezi River
  • Bungee jumping and gorge swings over the Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls
  • A helicopter ride or microlight flight over the Falls

During your stay in Livingstone you may also wish to visit our sister Lion Conservation Projects in Victoria Falls and Antelope Park, Zimbabwe.

Walk With Lions - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

At our Victoria Falls project just across the river you will have the opportunity to walk with lions on a day trip, home to 4 of our other lions in their early development stage. It’s also a chance to see the magnificent Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side plus a chance to look around Victoria Falls town where there are many touristy areas and authentic curio markets.

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Livingstone International Airport on their start date to begin their placement.  They should be sure to land between 0700 hours and 1700 hours and they will be met by a member of the project team and taken to the volunteer house. The best way to get to Livingstone is to fly into Johannesburg, South Africa and then take an internal flight to Livingstone.  Volunteers will be returned to the airport at the end of their placement.

 

 Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can provide help with any flight requirements upon request.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Livingstone, Zambia , Zambia Healthcare and Community DevelopmentLivingstone, Zambia , Zambia Healthcare and Community DevelopmentLivingstone, Zambia , Zambia Healthcare and Community DevelopmentLivingstone, Zambia , Zambia Healthcare and Community DevelopmentLivingstone volunteers reside at a comfortable and secure volunteer house within The Livingstone Backpackers  - a 5-minute walk away from Livingstone town centre where there are grocery stores, cafes, bars and restaurants. The Backpackers features a dining area, bar, swimming pool, large garden, and even a rock-climbing wall which is available to the volunteers!!  Accommodation upgrades are available for an additional supplement - subject to availability.

Wi-Fi is available but volunteers will need their own wi-fi compatible device.  A laundry service at US$5 per load is also available.  A full-time housekeeping service and 24 hour onsite support is also provided. 

The house is located just 7km from the iconic Victoria Falls, 3 km from the town centre and 1 km from the Zambezi River so it is a great base to take advantage of all the activities this area has to offer. 

The accommodation site neighbours the Mosi-ao-Tunya National Park and the Dambwa Forest which is home to the Lion Conservation Project.  Living and working in close proximity to the National Park volunteers may come across elephants, rhinos, baboons, vervet monkeys and a variety of other African wildlife on the doorstep.

Volunteers are provided with three meals a day prepared by the team of great chefs (Monday - Friday).

Volunteers will need to cater for their own meals at weekends. Weekends are usually good times for tourist activities and exploring the surrounding area, so it’s a great opportunity to try out some of the local cuisine and nearby restaurants.

Please note: That while the project try their very best to provide varied and interesting meals, due to the nature of the rural location food will generally be quite simple but still nutritious. 

Click here to view the full interactive mapZambia - Take A Working Holiday & Support Local Communities

Why visit Zambia?

For anyone out to experience the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia is that diamond in the rough. The country boasts some of Africa’s best game parks and shares (with Zimbabwe) some of the region’s major highlights, such as Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, Lower Zambezi National Park and South Luangwa National Park. South Luangwa National Park is one of the best parks in Africa for night game-drives. More than 60 mammal species and over 400 bird species are found in this Park, which is also renowned for thousands of hippo and crocodiles. Luangwa is the birthplace of the Walking Safari and there is no better way to explore this wilderness. Featuring leafy woodlands, slow-moving river channels and lily-bedecked lagoons, South Luangwa is renowned for the expertise of its guides. It is also excellent for spotting leopards and is home to about 15,000 elephants and the same number of hippo. The Thornicroft's giraffe and Cookson's wildebeest are unique to the region.

The mighty Zambezi River is tamed by the Lower Zambezi valley, becoming gentle as it spreads languidly across the Valley.  Islands and floodplains create a densely vegetated habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, elephant in particular. This area is seasonal and many of the lodges and camps are closed from November to March. It is also an angler’s dream as fishermen try their luck on the mighty Zambezi, with the hopes of landing a tiger fish or rare, giant vundu. Avid birdwatchers also flock to Zambia to glimpse its fabulous diversity of birds.

Game viewing along the upper Zambezi River by canoe or cruise boat is rewarding and relaxing. Adrenaline junkies may want to experience the spectacular view while bouncing upside down from the end of a bungee cord off the Victoria Falls Bridge. Intrepid travellers will also be attracted by the white-water rafting excursions on the swirling waters of the Zambezi Gorge. Helicopter or micro-light trips over the Falls, game-drives in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, horse trails along the Zambezi River and a visit to Maramba Market are also available. Most activities are accessible from the quaint colonial outback frontier town of Livingstone.

Highlights of Zambia

  • Renowned for its pristine National Parks, including Kafue, South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi.
  • It is named after the mighty Zambezi River flowing along its southern border, which is fed by the Kafue and Luangwa tributaries.
  • Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River are accessible from nearby Livingstone Town.
  • Livingstone is home to numerous activities for adventure seekers, including bungee jumping, white-water rafting and abseiling down the gorge.
  • It boasts one of the largest areas of land under the protection of national parks in Africa, featuring abundant wildlife.
  • Canoeing, rafting and fishing safaris, upstream from the Falls on the Zambezi River, are possible, as are canoeing trips on the Lower Zambezi.
  • Kafue National Park is about the size of Wales or Massachusetts, with exceptional bird watching.
  • The country, shaped by three great rivers, is characterised by water, including a trio of massive lakes -  Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kariba and Lake Bangweulu.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (November - April) 30 ° 26 °
Winter (May - October) 23 ° 20 °
Rainfall: April - May (Long rains) November - Mid December (short rains)

Zambia's elevation on a plateau gives it a moderate climate, despite the fact that it is within tropical latitudes, and the average monthly temperature remains above 20 °C most months.

There are three seasons:

  • cool and dry from May to August, when temperatures drop at night but the landscape is green and lush;
  • hot and dry from September to November, the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse;
  • warm and wet from December to April, ideal for bird-watching.

The Victoria Falls are spectacular in April and May after the rainy season.

Key Facts

Population – 12.9 million
Capital - Lusaka
Currency – Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Language – English is the official language, with Nyanja, Bemba, Lunda, Tonga, Lozi, Luvale and Kaonde being recognised regional languages.

Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 260, international access code 00

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

There is nothing worse than volunteering your time and then find it is not utilised. This project and its staff ensure that it is run in a highly efficient way. We always knew at the beginning of the week what and where our projects were for the whole week.  Every project we were accompanied by a project leader and in the villages an interpreter.  Each week we had team meetings with the leaders to discus issues which meant projects were the best they could be for everyone. By combining a specific project with a variety community work we all got to experience all aspects of life in Livingstone. There was plenty of time in the evenings and weekends to socialise with the other volunteers. We enjoyed all the tourist activities Livingstone and Chobe had to offer. I can sum it up as being “Lots of Fun”.

Leslie, UK aged 59 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

We had an AMAZING time! Thank you so much for all your help and support, as ever Amanzi Travel were brilliant!

The help and advice Amanzi gave before we travelled was excellent. We were not straight forward-we tried to coordinate 3 of us getting time off work and volunteering together. Pat was a tremendous help, nothing seemed too much trouble for her. She was patient with all our enquiries, spoke to the Livingstone project leaders to adapt the pick up times to fit in with our days of leave. She was always on hand-even at weekends. I cannot thank her enough, she was an absolute star! We owe the success and enjoyment of our trip to her support and hardwork, so thank you. The pre-departure information was also excellent, I felt very prepared, especially with the visas and packing information.  

The whole set-up was incredibly well organised, the project staff were friendly and helpful and the projects were well run. It was great to have the mix of doing the medical volunteering in the morning and then the varied activities in the afternoon (either reading clubs, art clubs, activities at the old people's home, etc).  

The medical project was valuable because we were able to take vitals/do baby weighing, etc that enabled the nurses to be free to see patients. As a qualified doctor I did not practice medicine out there because I had not applied to the Zambian government to do so. However, I still found the medical project incredibly useful and interesting. I think  practicing medicine may have made me more of a hinderence initially because I did not know how the system worked and what drugs, etc are available. By being a medical volunteer I was able to help with some of the nurses tasks that then freed them up to do the assessments. On the home-based care visits I think bringing analgesics to those who are isolated from clinics meant that they had at least some limited access to medications. We were also able to initially assess them and suggest whether we felt they should go to a clinic. 

I absolutely loved my time in Livingstone! Unfortunately I was only able to go for 2 weeks and I was afraid that the time would be too short for me to fully feel a part of it. I couldn't have been more wrong! The project leaders and other volunteers immediately made me feel at home; I came away having made friends for life. The projects were so well organised and everyone was so enthusiastic. I wanted to volunteer so that I could try and make a small difference. The set-up there really makes you feel you have helped. But more importantly, I think the local Zambians helped me. Their spirit and cheerfulness, despite having relatively little, really taught me what to appreciate in life. It was a really refreshing break from the hecticness of life in England. My best part was visiting the old people's home and bringing some fun and laughter into their otherwise quiet lives. We made musical instruments with them and then proceeded to play them along to some music, as well as dancing and singing. I am ashamed to say they had far better rhythm than me!

Livingstone is ideally located next to Victoria Falls so there is so much to see and do in your free time. I celebrated my 30th birthday whilst out there and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate. A helicopter ride over the Falls was amazing-as was walking alongside it-we got absolutely drenched! I would highly recommend this volunteer placement, and hope to be able to go back some day.

Katheryn Evans, UK aged  (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

I am really happy to have my travel bag filled with memories from Livingstone! It's been the best time of my life!
Unfortunately, I won't be able to return before finishing my nursing studies, but I will most certainly visit Zambia again afterwards.

Thank you again for your perfect help and advise during my preparations as well as your friendliness!

I am a nursing student from Germany, so I wanted to see how it is to provide medical care to people in Zambia and I Have to admit, I was surprised: My four weeks in Livingstone were a really life-changing experience! To see how easy it can be to help others in need and to learn from them as well, has made me rethink my life and my plans for the future. It was an overwhelmingly rewarding experience to actually help people to carry on with their lifes, not only to stretch their life span. When I arrived at Livingstone, I immediately felt like home. The projects were well organized and the project staff was always friendly and happy to be able to work with us. I made lots of new friends during those four weeks, friends who share my opinions and thoughts. We had a lot of fun together on the projects and during our weekend activities as well. I am sure that I will visit Zambia again or even stay there; going there was the best decision of my life!

Jan, Germany, aged 23 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

This program exceeded all my expectations. It is so well run, the staff are absolutely amazing (THANK YOU everyone!!), and put so simply, the Zambia Medical project is really doing some incredible things for some incredible people. Two weeks is not enough and my time here flew by. But at the same time, I felt like I’ve been here for so long because I felt so comfortable right from my arrival. I’ve gained so much from this, and I’ll really never forget my time here. As a volunteer on the medical project, I really enjoyed Home Based Care, especially my first day of volunteering at Natebe. I also derived so much joy from my interactions with all the children at various afternoon projects, especially at Afterschool.

I came here wanting to provide help in any way I can to a place that I thought so desperately needed it. And in many ways, Africa does need assistance, and that’s why these projects are so incredible. But I also learned that I can take away SO much from Africa to help myself, and hopefully others, back at home. The people here are amazing, so genuinely happy. I was looking to experience the health care system in this setting before starting my clinical training in medicine back at home. I hope to take all that I have witnessed and experienced here on the medical project and use it to help me be a better physician, and even a better person (corny I know, but true!), in the future. 

Allison, Canada, aged 23 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development, African Dream 26 Day)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

I can honestly say volunteering in Africa, and for me personally medical volunteering, were the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life, and reinforced my desire to become a doctor. Providing local people with some respite and relief from their physical and social difficulties was a feeling I don't believe I could have achieved in the UK. The responsibility placed on you as a medical volunteer is much greater than if you were to do work experience in a western country so I think this project gave me a much better idea of what life as a doctor is like than I could have got anywhere else. As for the community projects, such as farming, building and teaching, it was a great feeling to be working alongside and talking to the local people and just helping them out with a couple of ideas and sustainable solutions, demonstrating to me just how difficult life and work is for some people in these countries. The smiles on the kids' faces is worth every penny.

David, UK, aged 18 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

My daily wake up call…the roaring of lions. Part of everyday life in the beautiful country that is Africa. During my time in Zimbabwe and Zambia I experienced many breathtaking moments. It would be impossible to pick out my favourite part but here are a few memories that I treasure from my time away. Tracking rhino on foot through the African bush. Herding giraffe on horseback. Walking the lion cubs. Seeing all the stars in the Milky Way in the vast African night sky. Tasting the local delicacies (mapani worms!!) Dancing the night away with the local tribal dancers. The emotion I felt whilst helping to deliver a baby in one of the clinics. Enjoying a relaxing massage on the banks of the Zambezi River.

When I look back on all of these experiences they seem surreal, but when in Africa you truly feel that it is normal to be walking besides an 18month lion cub, or eating the local foods. I believe that it is down to the fact that the locals that I met were so welcoming and made you feel totally at ease in their home country.

I spent 2 months in Zambia, Livingstone working on a medical project. Whilst this was a tough experience for me, I feel that it was the most rewarding part of my trip. I spent my time either working in the local clinics weighing babies or working in the out patients department taking patients blood pressure, temperature etc. I also spent a bit of my time in the labs testing for malaria (blood samples) and TB (sputum samples). The lab technicians in the clinics are overwhelmed by the workload and volunteer help is gladly welcomed.

I got a true insight into the way of life in Zambia when I chose to do home based care. This project is run by 30 local women, all volunteers. We spent each morning going into the local community visiting patients. The patients generally have the late stages of HIV, TB or malaria. Often they cannot afford to go to a clinic or hospital. As well as bringing medical supplies we also gave them advice on nutrition and the correct way to take their medication. I created a strong bond with the ladies that I worked alongside, admiring their strength and commitment, as most of them were looking after 5 or more children of their own at home, whilst giving their time to the project voluntarily.

I felt that I gained the most out of my time away, and this was due to the organisation and planning of Amanzi Travel, prior to and during my visit. I was fully prepared to all that I faced, down to the right equipment and what to expect. This was all included in an excellent pre-departure pack (it was my bible!).

Heather and Laura, UK, aged 18 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development, Lion Conservation Volunteer)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

Accommodation and food were above expectations.

Theresa, UK, aged 50 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

My friend and I were the only ‘mature’ (post retirement) volunteers in the house, but we really enjoyed working alongside enthusiastic youngster from all over the world (from Alaska, Tasmania, Canada, Germany, Holland and UK). We both felt rejuvenated by the experience! The Zambians helping us were all extremely friendly and we learnt to live by African time, never rushing, always having time for a laugh and a joke! The children we met on our projects were delightful, even if some of the babies were frightened of our alien white faces. I feel I’ve had a glimpse of the real Africa – full of colour, music and happiness, in spite of some extreme poverty.

Our routine work at the medical clinics saved time for the professionals, so I feel it was useful. The home care visits certainly spotted people who needed further help eg transport to the clinic. The old people enjoyed our company, and we enjoyed theirs. We provided manpower on the farm (watering crops and weeding). Overall I think we did provide valuable help where it was needed.

Jane, UK, aged 62 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

Zambia Healthcare and Community Development

I enjoyed it so much and the actual activities were excellent.

It was a wonderful time which challenged me and gave me a real sense of achievement. It was very humbling to meet so many cheerful people coping with so many difficulties and it reinforces the feeling that we are very lucky even in times of credit crunch. It also saddened me to see the problems that many had, in particular the effect of HIV/AIDS. The project was great with different age groups and nationalities amongst the volunteers but a real community feel as we all had the same objectives and everyone looked after each other.

The activities were varied and I liked the way we concentrated on teaching/medicine in the mornings and then community projects in the afternoon. These gave me the chance to try out new skills such as plastering and also meet the children in the schools, plus the lovely people in the adult literacy classes.

Ruth, UK, aged 62 (Zambia Healthcare and Community Development)

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