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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

Healthcare and Community Development Project

Project Highlights

  • Take part in health promotion activities such as health and nutrition education using the approved syllabus
  • HIV education to the local communities of Livingstone many of whom are affected by this disease
  • Accompany the care-givers as they travel out to provide home based care to those in need in the local community
  • Help the busy staff by assisting with non-clinical duties in the local clinics, and thereby gain valuable healthcare/medical experience by observing the care given to patients by the resident staff
  • Help to provide support for the residents in the local old people's home
  • Work on building and construction projects within the community
  • Spend the afternoons working on community-based projects - perhaps art, maths or reading clubs in the local schools, or help on community farms or teaching English to local adults
  • Become immersed in local Zambian culture
  • Visit the wonderful Victoria Falls and take part in some of the fantastic tourist activities on offer in Livingstone
  • Make friends for life with other international volunteers at the project
  • Take the opportunity to visit the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe on exciting optional excursions

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

Morning Healthcare/Medical Projects

Home Based Care
Volunteers accompany local community care-givers as they visit their patients across Livingstone.  Most of these patients suffer from serious illnesses such as HIV, TB or malaria.  The aim of Home Based Care (HBC) is to provide comfort, education and treatment adherence advice to people in the community who have little or no access to clinics or hospitals.  Listening to the patients' stories with a sympathetic ear is an invaluable way that a volunteer can provide comfort and support.  They can also talk to these patients about the importance of hygiene,  a healthy diet and exercise and this is often as important to these patients as adhering to their medication regimes.

Volunteers should be aware that Home Based Care can be quite an emotional experience as visits are made to some really under-privileged areas of the community.  However volunteers  always feel that HBC is a valuable experience that gives them both a deeper insight into the lives of those suffering terminal illness, and a better understanding of Zambian society and the level of healthcare that is available locally.

Health and Nutrition Community 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.  Feedback shows that the presence of volunteers really motivates the local community members to attend these education sessions - not only for the knowledge that is shared, but also as a means to connect with people from all around the world - and of course an informal opportunity to hear and practice English.  Volunteers can help to facilitate courses on a variety of healthcare topics including HIV/AIDS, hand hygiene, dental hygiene, nutrition, cervical cancer and women's health.

Please note:  Some health education workshops are not available to all volunteers.  Participants will be carefully selected based on criteria such as age, maturity and ability to communicate effectively in English.  Such choices will be at the project manager's discretion.

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 as the filing of patient records 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:

Building and Construction Projects
Many schools in the Livingstone area have limited classrooms available, and as a result most children can only attend school for part of the day. With guidance from professional builders and members of the community volunteers will work on many building projects within schools and the community.  This is hard but rewarding work - mixing cement, making and laying bricks, laying concrete floors, plastering walls and painting and refurbishing existing classrooms.  (Please note that building projects are not always part of the programme.)

Farming
The project aims to help all communities in setting up sustainable farming programmes, and provide help in preparing the land and maintaining the crops. The programme helps with acquiring land, tools and seeds and volunteers assist by helping to prepare the land, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. The project staff and volunteers worked hand in hand with Linda Farm for the disabled to build a plastic bottle greenhouse for additional income generation, with plans for many more exciting projects at the farm including an Eco brick poultry house.

Reading Club
Volunteers help with running afterschool reading clubs that improve literacy and reading skills among the young people of Livingstone.  They help to give the students extra support including teaching the alphabet, phonics, spelling, pronunciation and general reading and comprehension skills.  Literacy in English is very important to Zambian children's education, as it allow them to understand all other academic subjects which are tested in English.  A "Happy Readers" literacy scheme has recently been introduced, specially designed for African children.  Both pupils and volunteers enjoy using the scheme and the results are awaited eagerly.

Art Club
These afternoon sessions are designed to nurture the students’ creativity and volunteers are encouraged to plan these sessions themselves using their own creative ideas to deal with a variety of issues.  For example, the art club could produce posters for an anti-drugs campaign or make Christmas cards or decorations, Easter masks etc.  The children also enjoy finger painting and making papier mache models.  Arts Clubs are important to the students' development as many of the schools lack the time or resources to incorporate arts into the school day.

Adult Literacy Club
In conjunction with the Ministry of Education volunteers work with adults in the community to help improve their literacy and subsequently their chances of employment. There is a structured syllabus with beginners/intermediate and advanced classes, and relevant testing and a certificate issued to those who are successful. The course improves the students' understanding of written and oral English.  This is often a favourite activity with volunteers as it offers a unique insight into a different culture and a chance to make new friends in the community.    These skills make people more employable in a country where the employment rate is around 50%.

Afterschool Clubs
 Children in Zambia have to grow up really quickly as they are expected to help out with a number of chores at home and older siblings help to look after the younger ones in typically large families. Volunteers run structured playtimes with children at pre-selected locations, taking along balls, skipping ropes, colouring books and crayons, and spend the afternoon interacting and having fun with the kids. This time allows them an opportunity just to be kids; to play games, be carefree and expend some of their boundless energy.

Maramba Old People's Home
Culturally, older family members are looked after within their community so old people's homes are not common in Zambia.  Therefore people who come to this home are often destitute, with no-one to look after them and come from far and wide and in the afternoons volunteers engage the residents through games, reading and physical activities, 

Reasons to volunteer: 

  • Getting stuck in, within the community and being involved with those who really need help. Home Based Care puts you in the middle of traditional Zambian life.
  • A great way to gain insight in the medical field; clinics in Zambia are vastly different to the healthcare facilities you are used to at home.
  • The opportunity to help provide vital community education to encourage healthy life style choices
  • Being based in Livingstone ensures there are plenty of relaxation or adventure activities to enjoy at the weekends.
  • The variety of activities and community projects, from building and painting to HIV education and reading clubs –there’s something for everyone
  • The variety of locations!  Volunteers will be based within under-privileged communities in various districts of Livingstone. Within Cheshire Homes, community farms, the old people’s home, and schools; ensuring there isn’t an inch of African day-to-day life that you won’t see
  • The friendly people – the work of a teaching volunteer is very much appreciated by the communities. You will meet the friendliest, nicest, gracious, most determined, and zealous African people, who are guaranteed to inspire and motivate you!

A Day in the Life of a Volunteer

Here is how a typical day in the life of a volunteer might take shape. Please note that itineraries may differ from time to time depending on the experience and number of volunteers at the project at any time.

7 am Rise and shine and time for breakfast. Volunteers spend some time preparing for the day, ensuring they have everything they need for the day ahead.
7.45 am Volunteers will depart for their morning activities
11.30 am- 12.00 noon Volunteers will be picked up and taken back to the house with time to plan and prepare the afternoon activities
12 noon - 1:30pm Lunch and relaxation
1.30pm Depart for the afternoon activities. This may be farming, building, or painting or it may mean an art club or a reading club, or assisting with home based care or in one of the homes.
4.30pm Back to the house for some free time followed by dinner.  Evenings are free - perhaps for a meal out, or simply enjoying a beer in front of the tv whilst planning for the next day.
6.00 pm Dinner

Please note: That the needs of the projects constantly change, and the schedule above is given as a guideline only, and we ask that volunteers remain flexible.

Public Holidays 2016

1 January - New Year's Day
8 March - Youth Day
25 March - Good Friday
28 March - Easter Monday
25 May - African Freedom Day
4 July - Hero's Day
5 July - Unity Day
1 August - Farmers 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.

  • Dinner/Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River - USD $65 - 70
  • 2 nights on an Island Paradise on the Zambezi, inclusive of several meals and activities - USD $145
  • 2 nights on safari in Chobe National Park - USD $320
  • White water rafting on the Zambezi River - USD $160 per half day/USD $170 full day
  • Bungee jumping and gorge swings/zip line over the Batoka Gorge - USD $160 - $240 tandem
  • Angel's Pool or Devil's Pool (depending on time of year but includes breakfast) USD $95
  • Helicopter ride over the Falls - USD $185 for 15 minutes
  • Microlight flight over the Falls - USD $170 for 15 minutes/ USD $340 for 30 minutes
  • Elephant rides - USD 140
  • Game drives in Zambia's Mosi-oa-Tunya or Botswana's Chobe National Park - USD 65 Game Drive/USD 85 Walking Safari
  • Crocodile Farm - USD $40

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Livingstone International Airport where 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.

 

 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. The Backpackers features a dining area, bar, swimming pool, large garden, and even a rock-climbing wall which is available to the volunteers!! The property accommodates volunteers from the healthcare/medical, teaching and sports projects. The accommodation is multi-sex, but males and females will be sleeping in separate rooms.

The house has 24 hour security and lockers to store valuables.  Meals are cooked at the accommodation and volunteers will have the support of the project managers at the site.  Each bedroom sleeps 4 - 8 people, with  bunk beds in each room.

Bed linen is provided (volunteers should take their own towels) and a cleaning service will attend to rooms daily. The house is within walking distance of the town where there is a wide range of amenities.   

Volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is on a help-yourself basis and consists of cereals, toast, tea and coffee.  Lunch and dinner are full meals, and will be cooked by the chef at the volunteer house. Please advise of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. 

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.  Volunteers are asked to be not overly fussy with what is provided for them.

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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