This project is an international NGO in Zambia. The main venture of the organisation is a boarding school for blind and visually impaired children with and without multiple disabilities in the Southern Province of Zambia, close to Mazabuka town. It is the only school of this kind in whole Zambia. The project is the ambitious project of a young Austrian called Barbara, who is organising the school alone. The construction for the international boarding school has already started in 2009, anyway, it will still take some years, until everything is really complete according to the plans. Anyway, some of the main buildings got ready, so that the school could open in September 2011. At the moment there are around 20 pupils in all age groups. You find young kids like Jackson, who is 5 but a bit behind in his development or Oliness who is just 3 years old, and older students like Nancy who is already 30 years old.
The students are coming from all over Zambia and also Zimbabwe. Almost all the kids have something in common: They did not get any proper education before joining, since there are no proper schools for them in Zambia. The school has, for example, a whole group of kids enrolled who came from a special unit at a public school, who spend over 10 years in this school without getting any single Mathematic lesson, taught by a teacher without teacher certificate. Two of the older girls are coming from villages, where they were only sitting at home before joining the school and some unruly boys were taking advantage of their blindness and raped them, so they have already children on their own.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We do not make any plans for volunteers ahead but usually our volunteers find their way in quickly after adapting to the new environment. The school is in rural Zambia, so it usually takes some adaption time. We have electricity, but not everywhere and our water comes from a hand pump. We have currently no internet access at the school but volunteers staying longer usually like buying affordable prepaid modems or just using their phones to stay online or going to town on weekends to the internet cafe. We have a garden and fields and animals as well. Life in Zambia can be chaotic and does not always go according to plans.
Volunteers have the opportunity to experience Zambia in a way normal tourist will never do because it is not an area where tourists normally would go. There is a small clinic nearby and hospitals and clinics in town.
We have school holidays in April, August and December, so these are the months which are not so suitable for volunteering since it can be a bit boring when the kids are not around. Still, there is always somebody there and farming, gardening etc continues. We also offer adult training for blind adults during the holidays.
Volunteers stay for free and can eat with the children who love eating typical Zambian food. Our kids and workers drink the water from the borehole but if you have a sensitive stomach it is better to buy water or use chlorine tablets to purify the water.
As a volunteer you can help in lots of different fields, depending on your abilities and experiences. We had volunteers who loved teaching, some who preferred building furniture with the workers, some who did gardening and field work, some who likes cooking for the kids etc... There is always enough to do and every help is appreciated.
English, Tonga, Bemba, Njanja
Directly at the school (village setup, rural area): Volunteer houses
Wonderful national parks close by, Victoria Falls.... to travel to on weekends.
Nice volunteer experience in an area where tourists normally don`t come.
More than two