IDEALS Zambia 2010
Since 2006, IDEALS Zambia has seen many young people working together from Zambia and the UK, forming strong bonds, learning from each other, and having positive experiences. This year is no different!
EduSport and Sport in Action, the two sport for development NGO’s working in partnership with UK Sport and the Wallace Group (Durham, Stirling, Northumbria, Bath, UWIC and Loughborough Universities), provide placements for approximately 40 students per year. The students work with other national volunteers in communities and schools across Lusaka to deliver sports, leadership and health awareness sessions.
Travelling to Zambia as an IDEALS student is a daunting experience. Getting used to life and work placements requires a lot of adapting, which is part of what makes it so rewarding for the participating students. Hayley Barr was a student on UK Sport’s IDEALS project in 2009. This year she is back as a team leader, staying in Zambia for four months during the whole project. She is more than happy to be back.
“In my opinion it’s the best country in the world,” says Hayley. “The people are so amazing – you just feel so welcome.”
Life in Zambia certainly takes some time to get used to and Hayley recognises this from when she first arrived in Zambia.
“It is a little bit of a shock – the harsh life that we are protected from at home. Here you are very exposed to it and I think that’s quite hard to get used to.” Hayley says.
Planning can be a bit of a challenge for the IDEALS students who never know if they are going to get five or fifty children for a session, or if they will have access to the space or equipment. For Hayley, this is part of what makes it a useful experience. When back in Britain, they have a new perspective on things.
“It makes you more flexible and adaptable. You realise that it’s not a matter of life or death that everything goes as planned.”
Coming back as a team leader, Hayley has the opportunity to observe the project from the start. She appreciates the organisation a lot more this year, while she also sees the impact the organisations, along with the students, are having in the communities they work.
Kelvin Chasuaka has been a peer leader and role model to the community of Kalingalinga for well over 5 years, an astonishing figure considering he is just 17. According to Kelvin, a peer leader “is someone that mobilises, organises, educates, empowers and inspires young people to achieve all they can. They act as a role model to fellow peers and those in whatever community they’re operating.”
Kelvin has been involved in the IDEALS programme since it started and has learnt a lot from the students from the Wallace Group. “I was privileged to be part of the first ever IDEALS project. I was initially involved as a peer leader and later as a site coordinator for my community of Kalingalinga.”
“The project has benefitted me in so many ways academically. Firstly, in the most direct form, I’ve learnt a lot from the students and their coaching abilities. Their specialist knowledge in various sports has helped me develop my own knowledge which I’ve been able to pass on to those who want it. I’ve also learnt about British culture and engaged in cultural exchange. Finally, I was last year sponsored to complete my senior year at school, which was a massive milestone for me.”
As Kelvin indicates, the IDEALS project is not only about the advance of international development through excellence and leadership in sport, but also about cultural exchange between Britain and Zambia. As one student, Joe Dale, who has recently returned from Zambia put it:
“I have had the time of my life. Within a day of the placement I started to appreciate the extent of the difference between Zambia and the UK. Only with the translation of peer leaders and site coordinators could we have any impact other than just the children’s excitement at seeing a ‘Mzungu’. With time however we’ve started to be able to increase our control and understanding with the children through physical actions and simple English and Nanja.”
Joe also talked about his learning experience, “I learnt from my site coordinators and peer leaders to improve my input when delivering life skills messages through sport and in P.S.H.E classes. I hopefully combined this with providing enjoyment for the children in the PE lessons to give them a physical and mental escape from every-day stresses.”
IDEALS Zambia will continue to provide a valuable opportunity to students, staff and all those involved with Sport in Action and EduSport.
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