An amazing welcome and an unusual gift
In our latest blog, Rachael reflects on her time in Zambia...
I’ve just returned from Zambia as part of the #ZamFam19 and my overriding feelings are a sense of great achievement and deep reflection.
The team (16 of us from BGL, alongside our international charity partners Build It International) spent nine days together, although it seems a lot longer! There were lots of tears, but lots more fun and enjoyment from the group who all worked incredibly hard to change and improve the lives of the children at Kamaila School, based just north of Lusaka.
This is BGL’s fifth year supporting communities in Zambia and, having now experienced it first-hand, I can truly appreciate what a fantastic opportunity we have to really support the magical people of Zambia and in particular, for me, the lovely, happy children who melted everyone’s hearts. Always smiling and such a fantastic sense of community despite materially having so little.
The absolute highlight for me was the arrival and the hundreds of children patiently waiting and exploding with joy when we arrived. After such a long and tiring journey, the welcome was instantly re-energising. Then we got to work on the school, transforming the classrooms and landscaping. What a difference three days can make!
The school community was so delighted it presented us with a cow – yes, a real cow! This is a great honour in Zambia and although sadly we could not bring it home, we worked with the local team to have the cow sold and the proceeds donated to the school.
When our work at Kamaila was done, we had the opportunity to visit the school at Bissell where last year’s BGL #ZamFam had worked. It was amazing to see the difference a year made to this organised, well-kept and structured environment. Again, we received a massive welcome from the children - singing and poems aplenty yet their strong messages against child molestation, drug abuse and alcohol abuse hit home. It was a massive sense of achievement to see how far things have come in just 12 months with Sebastian, the headmaster, clearly running a fantastic school.
Working with Build It International and Baraka was amazing and the support we received throughout our time in Zambia was fantastic. The team raised more than £40,000 towards the school in Kamaila and, as a thank you, we finished the week with a treat – lunch at a beautiful lodge with a table, cutlery and beautiful toilets! It’s amazing what you appreciate when you don’t have it for a short time!
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Arriving in Zambia
13 Jun 2017
Giraffes, Batman & a bit of elbow grease
13 Jun 2017
Teaching, goat meat & football
13 Jun 2017