Read about Mary's upcoming volunteer work in Africa
On 22 July my son and I will be travelling to Zambia to spend two weeks volunteering as part of a group of of 20 from Nottingham. We're going to be supporting a number of projects helping poorest people in one of the poorest countries. Zambia has a young population, with over half under the age of 18 (partly because of the short life expectancy). In the capital city, Lusaka, where we will be based, girls and boys as young as 8 are living on the streets, often due to family conflict.
The main project we are supporting will be building an extension to the Vision of Hope Home for 30 girls and young women who are homeless and particularly vulnerable, and who receive healthcare, education and skills before being returned to their wider families. not only our first experience of Africa, this is our first work experience on a building site! Thankfully skilled local builders are in charge, with volunteers providing unskilled labour. We will also be helping out in a primary school in a shanty town, a home for homeless teenage boys and also running a holiday club. I hope to spend some time with a community health project.
Each project has been set up by local people aiming to get people back on their feet to stay safe, healthy and to contribute to their communities themselves. As well as my work in Derbyshire I'm already involved in a local charity called Hope Nottingham, and I'm familiar with ways we can support people in UK with food, housing and skills. This trip will no doubt broaden our horizons, add new perspectives and stretch us physically and emotionally. we know we are also going to meet amazing people and vibrant communities who are materially poor but who will teach us a great deal about community and resilience. The trip ends with a few days enjoying a safari and a sunset Zambezi cruise, taking in the Victoria Falls.
We are fundraising for the project - every pound donated will go straight to the projects (eg for the building materials for the Vision Of Hope extension). We are also going to take two large suitcases of clothes for 8-18 year old boys and girls.
If you can make a financial contribution please use the link MYDONATE...
Assistant Director of Quality, Professional Lead for Allied Health Professions