Posted: Wed 30th Mar 2016

New Student Team Prepare For Zambia 2016 /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 30th, 2016

Discovery SVS’s (Student Volunteering Swansea) 50th anniversary is fast approaching, and between planning the multitudes of festivities Discovery is also planning its 2016 trip to Siavonga, Zambia with a new team of recruits. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

With last year’s visit boasting success, this year’s team of passionate volunteers are hoping to extend such success into this year’s programme. Discovery is the lead UK body of the Swansea-Siavonga partnership (SSP) established in 2010. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Highlights of the 2015’s summer programme: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • 10 teachers from link schools around Swansea spent time in their link schools in Siavonga, teaching and hosting a cultural exchange.
  • Rachael the head teacher from Hafod primary School did a great job at designing and painting the classrooms in the rural Kabilla school with children’s right messages, with help from the student’s and local volunteers.
  • Working with Giakonda IT the partnership set up Raspberry Pi computers into rural schools around Siavonga, allowing the schools to have better access to information and ICT’s.
  • The team of engineering students were able to overview the water quality tests from the previous year’s visit, survey the area in hopes of building a guest house for future trips and design plans to implement an irrigation system to benefit the women in Kabiobio.
  • The students of the summer programme held three workshops days with the women from the village groups; including topics around literacy, numeracy, business skills, rocket stoves, gender equality, HIV & AIDS and disability awareness etc.
  • The students also held workshops with the children at Namumu orphanage around emotional health, child protection, first aid, music and exercise.
  • As well as the workshops the students were also able to visit many schools and women’s groups around Siavonga, and met up with some of the children from the partnership’s scholarship scheme.
  • The students also painted the children’s ward at the hospital with help from Rachael and the local Siavonga Nutrition Group (SNG) volunteers.

Since returning from Zambia, the partnership has facilitated the return visit of 8 Siavonga teachers and 2 SNG volunteers who came here to Swansea as part of the school linking programme and cultural exchange in November. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The scholarship scheme has also had a new child being sponsored onto it; making 7 children supported through secondary education. Back in Swansea, Discovery has also given many presentations to linked schools about the partnership given by previous SSP volunteers, SNG volunteers and Siavonga teachers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This year aim’s to continue last year’s success with the student’s summer programme; so far 8 students have been recruited from a variety of disciplines including geography, engineering, psychology etc. Plans for this year’s trip include: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • The introduction and implementation of a disability survey that will be able to help to understand how many disabled children in Siavonga could be educated if there was a local provision.
  • Continue to work with women, including work around mental health, literacy, cooperative business planning and many more. There are also plans to run a gender equality workshop with men, as recommended by last year’s trip.

In Swansea, Pen Y Bryn special needs school are looking forward to an inspirational visit from head teacher of St Malumba special needs school in Zambia in April. In addition Discovery will be continuing to promote the work of SSP during the 50th celebration festivities in June. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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