In 2018, the focus was on the construction of a multi-purpose sports court (for volleyball and netball). This court is based at Chipata Community School where hundreds of children attend daily for education and sports. The area is a densely populated, sprawling community with 60% of its 150,000 inhabitants aged between 3 and 24. 80% of the population live on less than a £1 a day and unemployment runs at 90%. Therefore, Chipata Community School is a key driver for change in this area, educating the youth for better employment in the future.
Before travelling to Zambia, the students were focussed on raising the £6500 necessary to construct the court. Whilst in Zambia, the students’ main roles were to select a suitable contractor to build the court and negotiate a deal, as well as act as project managers throughout the construction process. This included submitting design proposals for the court, checking the construction quality and making sure the court was finished to their schedule. The path to completion was not an easy one for the students as there were many delays and issues during the project. Deliveries would often take hours or days more than expected and it was difficult to manage with the language barrier. On one occasion, the workers had placed a hole for a volleyball post in completely the wrong place! Luckily, the team was on hand to correct them before the post sockets were cemented in. However, the team and contractors pulled through in the end as they were able to finish before leaving back to the UK. The team were really proud to finish the court before departing Zambia and have the opportunity to see local children play on the new surface.
Whilst in Zambia, the group also took on other responsibilities. This included repairing a pot-hole damaged court, helping to organise and run sporting tournaments, teach swimming to children and assist in citizenship style classes for school girls. The trip was a fantastic experience for all involved and gave an opportunity for both Zambian and personal development. The team achieved a lot during their time in Zambia and are thankful for all the support they have received.