Zambia Trip 2022

The trip to Zambia with our partner charity Beyond Ourselves at half term was a great success and the team learnt so…

The trip to Zambia with our partner charity Beyond Ourselves at half term was a great success and the team learnt so much. Now the dust has settled, we wanted to share some of the student’s reflections with you, some of which were shared in a recent Chapel service.

Being at the incredible place of education that Cranleigh is, I thought it would only be appropriate for me to share with you the importance placed on education throughout our time in Zambia. The power of education is unmatched to anything else…it is the unifier the world is in desperate need of and the only hope we have towards a future where unjustified inequality, resulting in so much suffering, can be resolved.

I’d like to share with you where I saw this power in action. One of the things we did in Zambia was conduct a number of reading and literacy tests with different kids from primary schools. The test was a phonetic mixture of Bemba, the local language, and English. While the results of all pupils varied enormously, there was one striking differentiator. When comparing the results of the kids who were enrolled at the local community school that were not being supported by an external organisation, like Cranleigh, and the results of the kids at Kawama school, the one we have been working with for years, Kawama School pupils were performing around 60% higher than the others. 60% may just sound like a statistic, but what that means for their future, and inevitably the future of their own families one day, is huge. The chances these kids now have at a higher education increase drastically, the prospects of them becoming employed at a place that would allow for them to care for their family and provide their children with the same opportunities becomes remarkably higher.
So, in the words of Confucius: “If your plan is for a year, plant rice, if you’re planning for a decade, plant trees. But if your plan is for a century, educate children.”

 

Lauren B.

It’s hard to put into words the effect that the Zambia trip had on me, but there are certainly a few things that stand out. The first of which is the realisation that happiness is not created by your surroundings but instead by your personal appreciation of your relationships and life itself. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the reason you aren’t fulfilled is because of a lack of something else around you, we have all done it. When we visited Zambia it became obvious to me that this attitude is completely invalid as we were welcomed by enthusiastic, content and optimistic people, who, in terms of material objects, had very little. This highlighted to me the importance of finding happiness through things that don’t hold monetary value, like your friends and family. People need people, people don’t ‘need’ new things to be happy. So I urge you to invest in your relationships, find contentment with what you have and to remain resilient when life gets tough.

Sophie M.

 

On the trip, we experienced what life was like in Zambia and how different and incomprehensible it is to the lives that we live on a daily basis. We participated in home visits where we got stuck in with sweeping and polishing the floor, and work experience where we made money tins and rugs. This really opened our eyes to the struggles that people in other parts of the world face everyday and how they try to make money in order to feed themselves and their families. We spent a good deal of time at our partner school, Kawama, where we helped out with lessons, played games, helped with English and Bemba speaking exams, and celebrated Zambian Independence Day. As well as this, we got to spend time with the kids at Kawama School and learn about how they lived their lives, which gave us an understanding of how privileged we are compared to those in developing world countries. We were also lucky enough to get a taste of the local Zambian cuisine during our stay at both the Community Church and at Kawama School. We tried Nshima, caterpillars, and rapeseed among other things as well. If you have the opportunity to go on this trip, embrace it as it will certainly impact your life and the way you view the developing world.

 

Marcus M.

What do you want to do with your life? Now, whilst some of you may know the answer to this question, many do not have a clue. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know myself, however it just so happens that this question led to the first lesson I quickly learnt in Zambia after my first few conversations with the students of Kawama School. In contrast to us, all of them had such clear ambitions. Whether that was them wanting to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer,  they all shared one thing in common, which was the fact that they had planned out their futures. Which brings me on to reflect how we are in possession of such an immense privilege when it comes to the control we have over our lives and our futures. The mere fact that we are able to leave our career decisions so late in our lives is a testament to the actuality that we have been given an invaluable opportunity through our attendance at this school. However, rather than demanding you all to sort out what you want to do your with you lives by the end of this chapel, I am instead inviting you all to adopt the same Zambian policy of optimism that all of those children had. The Zambian optimism that focuses on the positives in life rather than dwelling on what is not and what we don’t have. The Zambian optimism that encourages us to welcome and uplift all those who enter our lives. Because if there is one thing I took away from my time in Zambia, it is that the people there were not only trying to better their own lives, but they were also trying to better the situation of their community and their country.

Ozzy L.

 

Beyond Ourselves, our partner organisation in Zambia, will be raising money through the Big Give Christmas Campaign for further Literacy Training and Development in Zambia. Donations to this project will matched until Tuesday 6th December. That means if you give £5 your donation will be doubled to £10 and £50 will turn into £100 at no extra cost to you! There really is no catch! This year Beyond Ourselves are aiming to raise £12,000 during the week.

The money will be used to train another 1,200-1,500 teachers in Jolly Phonics, a phonics based programme that is having great results in accelerating children’s literacy. This will have a direct impact on reducing poverty and improving children’s opportunities for the future and 60,000 children will be directly impacted!

Please click on this link  to donate. Any gift, small or large, will greatly help to spread literacy across Zambia.

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