When an awestruck David Livingstone first saw Victoria Falls in 1855, he wrote in his journal "on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed". He named the falls after the queen of England at the time, but the Falls are more poetically known by locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. Against this stunning backdrop in the nearby town of Livingstone, we invite you to volunteer in our amazing teaching, orphan care and community volunteer project.
Volunteer areas of involvement:
Teaching Assistants - As a teaching volunteer you will spend your mornings in one of 6 of our community schools, that are positive environments to orphans and vulnerable children alike. You will be assigned a class and will provide assistance to your teacher. While the teacher is in front of the classroom, teaching a class, it is extremely valuable to have a teaching assistant who can go around and help individuals' children with their assignments. Since classes are usually very large, the pupils do not often get this individual attention, so any extra attention they receive is highly appreciated.
Group Work - A volunteer may find in class that there are a group of children who struggle to keep up with the rest of the class. Volunteers will take groups of children out of the class to go through the class work at a slower rate with greater repetition to enhance learning.
Marking Tests and Assignments:
- Revision Classes: Should you feel comfortable you can teach your own class using the in depth lesson plans. We are currently working in six different schools in the local community.
- Nakatindi Community School: This is a a fairly large school but still under construction. We have built a new general classroom as well as a new classroom for the preschoolers. We also have Physical Education classes taught by the sports volunteers. Additional to that we run reading clubs to assist the students struggling with their literacy and art club some afternoons.
- Mwandi Community School: A small under privileged school situated on a hill in Mwandi community overlooking Livingstone. We have finished the building and painting of the main classrooms and school buildings. Physical Education is facilitated by volunteers in the afternoons also as well as Art Clubs and Reading Clubs.
- Malota Community School: This is an extremely under privileged and tiny school and we are proud to be associated with it. Its teaching principles and methods are extremely admirable considering the massive lack of resources this school has. We are finished with building them a new roof (higher and without holes!) Teaching volunteers also help out in the mornings providing assistance within the classroom, develop reading clubs and other extracurricular activities in the near future as our relationship with the school goes from strength to strength.
- Livingstone Primary School: This school, although it is a basic (technically government funded) receives little in the way of funding and we assist with classroom assistance and soccer training as well as revision classes on a Friday afternoon for those children that struggle.
- Dambwa Christian School: This is an extremely under privileged school with only one permanent structure. We provide teaching assistance within the school. This is one of our smaller schools. We also teach Physical Education in our Sports Programme.
- Dambwa Basic School: Due to the fact this is a large basic school our assistance is needed more elsewhere, however there are areas where our input is greatly appreciated. This is the school where we conduct our Life Skills Workshops with the children aged 16 to 18 – this is an educational course designed to assist the children with the transition from School to employment. The course covers aspects such as "how to write a CV", "Improving your business", "Telephone and Interview Skills", and "Basic first aid".
During school vacation time volunteers run "holiday clubs". Holiday club is extremely important as it offers students valuable time to catch up on learning missed due to the Zambian "Hot Seating" system. Not only does it give young people a safe environment to spend their summer holidays, it is also a lot of fun whilst providing an effective educational tool.
Afternoon Community Projects: After having spent the morning at one of the schools, you will help out the local community in different areas in the afternoon. You will rotate between the following community projects:
- Build/paint/refurbish schools and clinics
- Home Based Care/Farming
- Reading Club
- Art Club
- Adult Literacy Club.
- Gain teaching experience in a challenging environment
- Work with and have the opportunity to give love and attention to disadvantaged children
- Work on school refurbishment and building projects
- Immerse yourself in local Zambian culture
- Make friends for life
- Visit the Victoria Falls and enjoy some of the amazing tourist activities that Livingstone has to offer including Bungee Jumping, White Water Rafting on the Zambezi, Helicopter Flights over the Falls, Zambezi River Cruises, visits to Botswana’s Chobe National Park to experience Africa’s highest density of elephants and weekend excursions across to Zimbabwe and much more.
From April 2008 to November 2009 our volunteers contributed over 53260 hours to community development on our volunteer projects in Livingstone – Medical, Teaching and Sports projects. Our project structures, together with the support and advice of our charitable foundation team at The Happy Africa Foundation, are continuously assessing our work and project strategies to ensure that these hours are meaningful with measurable outcomes. As always our volunteers continue to do a great job of assisting in the classrooms at the various schools that we are involved with in Livingstone.
The work on the two new classrooms at Nakatindi School began in 2008. Having already assisted with the first classroom block, we began the building and painting of the additional office & two classrooms. Although the pace of work was slow at first due to a number of set backs; a freak storm taking the roof off in January didn’t help matters either. However, since March this year building work resumed and was completed at record speed!
After a lot of volunteer blood/sweat/tears we were able to support Malota Community School and cement an already fantastic relationship. By far the poorest and most needy school we work with, the Malota community have been an absolute delight to assist and very much appreciative of all that has been done thus far; building of a security wall, provide desks and chairs for the classrooms, paint and level the floors of two classrooms.
Optional activities and excursions:
Project Travel Highlights: These are not included in your volunteering fee, but our coordinators are able to assist you with making the necessary booking arrangements.
Guideline prices for the most popular activities (please note these are subject to change, prices given are a guideline only):
- Dinner/Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River: USD 35.00 – 45.00
- 2 nights on an Island paradise in the Zambezi, inclusive of several activities and meals: USD 120
- 2 nights staying on board a boat cruising along the Zambezi River: USD 180
- 2 nights on safari in Chobe National Park: USD 200
- The world’s most exciting white water rafting on the Zambezi River. USD 150 half day.
- Bungee jumping and gorge swings over the Batoka Gorge which the water cascades into below the Falls. Bungee Jump: USD 105 per jump. Gorge swing/Zip line: USD 105 per jump. All 3 activities in one day: USD 125.
- Helicopter Ride over the Falls: USD 150 for 15 mins.
- Microlight Flight over the Falls: USD 120 for 15 mins.
- Elephant back safaris. USD 120
- Canoeing Safaris on the Zambezi River above the Falls with experienced guides.
- Game drives in Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park or neighbouring Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
Where will I sleep?
Project Accommodation Livingstone volunteers reside at a comfortable and secure complex, a 5 minute walk away from Livingstone town center. This accommodation features a dining area, bar, swimming pool, large garden, and climbing wall! The House sleeps up to 68 people and accommodates volunteers from our medical, teaching and sports projects. The house has 24 hour security. It also has a safe where you can store your valuables. Your meals are cooked at the accommodation and you will have the support of our project managers at the site. This house caters for 3 different projects, medical, teaching and sports. Each bedroom sleeps 6 people, with three bunk beds in each room, some of the larger rooms can have up to 8 people in the room. Each bedroom has a lockable cupboard for your valuables. Bed linen is provided (please bring a towel) and the maid service will attend to cleaning the rooms and making the beds daily. The maids will wash your laundry. The house is positioned within close walking distance to town where you will find a wide range of amenities, such as cheap internet cafes, restaurants, shops, etc.
Please note: We find that volunteers living together and working closely together with their volunteer coordinators is the surest way of guaranteeing their safety and being able to attend to their most pressing needs. For this reason we expect all volunteers to stay only in the accommodation provided for them and do not allow volunteers to spend nights away in the town or nearby villages, unless they are away on pre-arranged sightseeing excursions. Project Travel Highlights: These are not included in your volunteering fee, but our coordinators are able to assist you with making the necessary booking arrangements.
Do I need experience, is there orientation? You will not need to have any experience or be qualified in order to volunteer on this project, you just need the desire to impact! Project Orientation: Upon arrival in Livingstone all volunteers are involved in comprehensive orientation programme, which is included in your fee. This is facilitated by your project volunteer coordinator and entails an introduction to our projects. Not only will you see where you will be working, you will also see where your fellow volunteers will be spending their days. An experienced clinical assistant will give you a detailed briefing on common diseases in the area, working methods in the clinics, and safety precautions for working in the clinics. This is to ensure that you will start your work at the clinic in a well-prepared and safe way.
What's the age limit? Minimum age of 18 years, maximum 40 years.
Project Typical Day:
- 07:00: It's rise and shine, and time for breakfast. The volunteers also spend some time preparing for the day, ensuring they have everything they need for the day ahead.
- 07:45: Off to work. The volunteer arrives at their assigned school and class. After saying hello to all the children, it's time to get down to some work. The children usually have half hour lessons, social studies, maths, science, English, and why not join in on their local language lesson and learn some Nanja yourself?!
- 11:30: You will be picked up from your project and be taken back to the house for lunch
- 12:00: Lunch
- 13:00: Planning Session – You are given this time to prepare for your afternoon or other projects you may need to prepare for, this may mean designing and making posters, researching, writing quiz's or tests or simply gathering supplies.
- 13:45: Depart for your community project. This may be farming, building, or painting. It may mean an art club or a reading club, or assisting with home-based care or in Maramba Old People's Home. You may also be involved in planning and delivering one of our workshops to the kids of the community schools covering topics such as basic first aid, drugs and alcohol, HIV and AIDS or life skills.
- 17:00: You will arrive back to the house for supper after your projects. Your evening is free, so why not treat yourself to a meal out, or simply sit enjoy a beer in front of the TV whilst planning for the next day.
Please be advised that we endeavor to keep all of our project documents up to date; however, due to the constantly evolving nature of sustainable projects expect amendments within all programmes. Some projects will become self sufficient and no longer require the assistance of volunteers, others will slightly change focus and new ones will begin. Volunteers will be involved in a diverse range of project work as things evolve and develop, all of which are moving the project towards a common goal.
- Project Fee: This facilitates funding for items such as coaching materials and equipment, building materials, etc. This also entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with. This project fee facilitates funding for items such as building materials, equipment, supplies, foodstuffs, etc. Project fees are also used to buy vehicles/equipment and for developing the housing for volunteers to provide for the expansion of the projects.
- All airport transfers from Livingstone International Airport upon your arrival and departure
- Orientation program
- All daily transfers to and from your projects during your stay
- Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day at our volunteer house
- Weekly laundry service during your stay
- Full support and your project managers throughout your time on your Livingstone placement.
- What is the minimum stay: 2 weeks
- Where exactly is it: Livingstone, Zambia
- What will I be doing: Teaching and Community volunteering.
Prices from: £785/€1020/$1415.
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