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By perfectday, Sep 9 2016 08:26AM

My name is Annie Davison and I am the point of contact between yourselves and the Durham Drama group whilst we are in Zambia. I will be writing to you to report back and let you know what we have been doing in our day to day activities for the project.

So, Chantelle, Claire, Ruby, Stine, Elizabeth, Rhiannon and I landed in Livingstone on the 10th of August and went to the Livingstone Backpackers hostel, where we were greeted by Connor and Claudus, the friendly staff. We settled into our 6 person room (Chantelle has an en suite much to our jealousy), and attempted somewhat unsuccessfully to set up our mosquito nets. I then had a run in with the world's largest spider in the shower, which we have since named Steve.

In the morning at 8.30 the group met Aggrey, our driver and Staffy the peer leader from Sport in Action. We were introduced over breakfast and we discussed health and safety around Zambia, our roles within the group, and other general information. Aggrey and Staffy were absolutely lovely and we look forward to spending the next two weeks with them.

After breakfast we ventured into town to get our Zambian phones. Aggrey and Staffy took the group to meet Musola, a fascinating human rights activist/film director. We were warmly welcomed into her home where we also met Kenya, the staff worker from a youth group. We were very keen to work with them both as they tackled sensitive and fascinating issues such as sex, physical disability, and women's rights in Zambia through their work.

We met with Kenya and the youth group on Monday afternoon to discuss what they would like to gain from our involvement, and how we would like to benefit from them. As it stands individuals from our group have expressed interest in working with clowning, physical theatre, body movement, close script work, music and dance to explore themes of interest. We were also keen to have a discussion with the young people in a cultural exchange of sorts and talk about life in Zambia, the UK, America, Norway and Australia.

We then left and went to visit the Mumbasi Old People's Home which I think came as a bit of a culture shock to the entire group, as we weren't fully prepared for the poor buildings and resources. We met one resident who was particularly talkative, the infamous 'Sweet Potato' or Mr Patrick, who the girls on the previous drama trip also met. We were a little uncomfortable as due to language barriers we could not fully engage with the residents, however we remain hopeful that our trip next week will be more successful as we will know what to expect.

Finally Aggrey and Staffy took us to the Shoprite store, where we bought food for the next 2 days and sorted out the cooking schedule. We then had a 2 hour meeting with Chantelle to sort out the rest of the week’s workshops and placements.

I will email again soon!


By perfectday, Sep 9 2016 08:15AM

My immediate impression of Zambia from getting off the plane to arriving at the IDEALS house was that there is a lot of development in process. It seemed like every new road had either new buildings or roads being worked on nearby – this really excited me as it shows the progression the country is making. The opportunity I had as the staff member from the University of St Andrews is an extremely unique one and I cannot thank both the Wallace Group and UKSport enough.

As the staff member going out for weeks 4 to 6 my main responsibility was to support the students and also the other two staff members. I found myself in a different place undertaking a different task every day of my visit. The welcome I received from each placement and area I visited was phenomenal; from young children shouting ‘Hi, hello, you, muzungu?’ with wide eyes and massive smiles to the Peer Leaders asking and enquiring into sports coaching in the UK. As I arrived half way through I found myself amazed by how confident and knowledgeable the students were of the local area and the placements, their Nyanja was great and the way they interacted with both the children they coached as well as any Zambian was respectful and understanding.

The Zambian experience I had was extremely diverse as I was fortunate enough to visit such places as Victoria Falls in Livingstone - which could only be as paradise, to the compounds of Lusaka which were almost the opposite in terms of scenery but equally as exciting and interesting. I can wholeheartedly say that I enjoyed my two days Coaching Basketball at Chipata Community School covering for Scott more than the weekend at Livingstone, the interaction and attention I received from the children and peer leaders there was exactly what I wanted, they asked questions, they were eager to learn and also something I didn’t expect – I learned a lot from them. The overwhelming aura of community is contagious, there is a general sense of ‘tough love’ but in my opinion this breeds resilient youngsters and as a result strong independent young adults.

Most of my time was spent visiting different placements to help, observe and offer support to the students there as well as spending some time with the SIA (Sport In Action) team. I honestly feel like my time flew by and I would have loved to spend longer with the IDEALS programme out there. Thank you for a once in a life time opportunity I will treasure the memories!

By perfectday, Sep 9 2016 08:14AM

My name is Collins Thaimu a Zambian aged 23, I belong to a family of six. I have been involved in sport for a long length of time, well, I joined Sport in Action (SIA) in 2005, as a footballer, later I became a Peer Leader and started coaching football. My involvement in sport has been so beneficial in the sense that it has helped me procure the profession that I always dreamed of. I always wanted to study Environmental Health Technology, and it has been a blessing that Dr Peter Warburton and Durham University have helped me through with all the funds for my college. I am so glad because I am almost done with my study and I am so glad this great gift of education that I have been given through The Perfect Day Foundation, Sport in Action, Durham Univeristy and Dr. Peter Warburton has given me a great platform for my future, and I still have many more plans for my future after I finish in a few months’ time.

I want to get a job in the government, and then help my family through my job, I want to advance in my studies in a few years’ time so I will be saving some money so that I can use it to pay for my school fees in the future. My goal is to have my Masters Degree before I reach 30 years old. I will also try to apply for a scholarship in any of the European countries, maybe by God’s grace, I can do my further studies in Europe.

I want to help my organisation (Sport in Action) through sponsoring some kids in school, and in the long run I want to build a school that will enable these kids that do not manage to go to school have the opportunity to get the education that they need. I have so many plans for my future but for now this is all I can write.

Thank you!

By perfectday, Sep 9 2016 08:13AM

As part of the 2016 IDEALS programme I will be travelling out to Lusaka to fulfil the role of staff member, representing Durham University. My sporting background has been somewhat untraditional, but sport has always been a part of my life. As a child I tried my hand at every sport I could, I have now captained my university American Football team and trialled for my country in the sport, something I could never have predicted. Sport has opened doors for me and given me so much, including the opportunity to work as the Team Durham Sabbatical President this year.

Sport has given me opportunities not only to improve myself on the field but to grow off it. Whether it is the memories of teammates or the skills that I’ve been able to develop over the years, sport has a fantastic power to do good. I am privileged to be able to be part of the IDEALS project and help continue the fantastic work of the Perfect Day Foundation.

Sport will always have the power to bring people together; in the UK this is often for a social benefit, but, it can be used for so much more. Sport in Action have been taking advantage of this for years through Education projects, through tackling gender and social issues as well as health, they have made huge strides in improving the lives of young people in Zambia. As a staff member for the IDEALS project, I am very much looking forward to being involved in this aspect of the project.

All of the 7 staff members will be delivering a workshop to placement volunteers in order to develop skills, not only in coaching but also in employability skills for the future. I will be focussing on delivering some of the leadership skills I have been lucky enough to develop in my sport but also in association with opportunities with the Team Durham and BUCS leadership academies. I’m lucky to be able to pass this knowledge on, and hopefully give more people a chance to use these skills in their community.

There are very real tangible benefits to the Sport in Action programme, with many children “graduating” from the project becoming peer leaders themselves. The workshops give them a great opportunity to continue their learning and become difference makers in society, whether they continue to stay in sport or go further afield.

Meeting the students of group 2 as they came together for the induction weekend I was instantly impressed with not only the way they bonded but the energy and enthusiasm they had. I’m confident that this year’s cohort is driven to not only make a positive impact but really embrace a different culture. What makes the IDEALS project work so well is the fantastic work the students do to share knowledge but also to learn. It is these life-changing lessons and experiences that have kept project Alumni engaged for years. I’m sure this year will be the same with IDEALS and the Perfect Day Foundation continuing to grow, increasing the number of people they can reach.

By perfectday, Sep 9 2016 08:12AM

One week after returning from Zambia and I already want to head back out. Joining the project as the University of Bath’s staff member allowed me to join Group 1 for 3 weeks. During this time I was fortunate to explore the country’s capital, Lusaka, visit all of the Sport in Action and Edusport placements and support and build great relationships with the Wallace group students and other staff members.

The Zambian way of life is incredible to experience. The welcome I received on a daily basis at each placement was always overwhelming with large groups of children running towards you, hugging and/or climbing on top of you. The people within the communities would frequently greet you as you walk down the street with ‘muli bwanji’ or simply shouting ‘muzungu’. Zambian people have an amazing ability of making you feel welcome and treating you like family despite only knowing you for a very short period of time.

Each placement was unique in its own way. Some of my personal highlights included the walk through markets, houses and ‘jungle’ to reach the Mutendere football pitches, the Chipata Kindergarten shadowing every step you take around the placement and the girls from St. Patricks School cornering you to find out as much as possible about English culture and trying to plait your hair. However my favourite placement was definitely Kalingalinga.

Kalingalinga is an Edusport placement, all P.E and sports sessions take place on one large dusty area in the centre of the community. For me, the community made this placement special. On several occasions I visited this placement with Keon Richardson (Bath) & Jess Brown (Cardiff Met) and Peer leader Gracious. We would arrive at the site and it would be extremely quiet, within minutes there were loads of children running around and they would appear from nowhere. The majority of these children would participate bare foot on a pitch that had rubbish and glass on, however their enthusiasm for sport is incredible and the issues of rubbish, glass or no shoes didn’t seem a problem. Some of the smaller children from the community would not be involved in the planned sessions but they were always determined to get involved and play games with us.

The main focus of being in Zambia is to work as part of the project, however the project also enables you to do extra activities alongside the placements. During the 3 weeks I was in Zambia I was extremely lucky to visit an Elephant Orphanage, Church Fete, Local markets, Livingstone including Victoria Falls and a safari in Botswana.

The main focus of being in Zambia is to work as part of the project, however the project also enables you to do extra activities alongside the placements. During the 3 weeks I was in Zambia I was extremely lucky to visit an Elephant Orphanage, Church Fete, Local markets, Livingstone including Victoria Falls and a safari in Botswana.

My 3 weeks spent in Zambia as a staff member was incredible and I would encourage anyone that has the opportunity to be involved in this project to get involved. If you do get involved, here are some of my top tips….

Top tips!

•Get use to ‘Zam Time’ – Nothing begins on time but this is part of the Zambian culture so embrace it.

•Practice your singing voice – You will be singing Zambian songs a daily basis.

•Forget about personal space – On buses and taxis around Lusaka you are likely to be squashed as close as possible to other people or the side of the transportation.

•Learn the local language – The response you receive when speaking nyanja is amazing.