The Shine Project in Zambia

A few weeks ago we reported that The Shine Project were going to Zambia to do some volunteering, this trip has now happened and I’m sure you’re all eager to hear about the adventure!

We had a fantastic time in Zambia, the girls did an amazing job at adjusting to a different culture, were (mostly!) up for trying new food and coped well with our pretty challenging accommodation (exploding taps, overflowing toilets, no hot water, often no water!) It was without a doubt a trip of a lifetime and something the girls will remember for many years.

We spent every day at the school site of Vinjeru Trust School, delivering craft lessons, teaching girls how to use sustainable sanitary products, helping out with reading assessments and teaching a majorettes routine to the high school girls as well as just getting involved in community life and experiencing a whole new culture ourselves. We are doing a blog series on our website where each of the girls have written a reflection of their time away, please do follow it for a full insight into the African adventure but here’s a few excerpts to give you a taste!

“My favourite thing about Zambia was the atmosphere and being able to see life differently and to be able to help, everyone is so happy and even though they don’t have all the nice things they are all so happy and kind and encouraging towards each other and that’s what I liked the most. I learnt that you don’t always need the most expensive things in life to be happy; I just really enjoyed my Zambia experience and I’d do anything to go back even having cold showers and not being able to flush the toilet!”

“The thing I found the hardest were the floods and bugs! I didn’t like the early wake ups and late nights because it was always involving water exploding or flowing when it shouldn’t, or nests of ants on our sink. I also found the food hard due to it been totally different to what I eat in England. This has impacted massively on how I eat at home and I realised that before I went to Zambia, I was being ungrateful and not thinking about where this food comes from and how special it actually is to open my fridge and not worry about what I’m getting out of it.”

“My favourite thing about Zambia, was working in the primary school, although I loved everything and it’s hard to pick one thing, this memory stands out the most, helping the grade 2’s and 3’s with their reading assessments, teaching them crafts, playing with them at lunch. Another favourite would be being around the families, and their kids helping out with bath time and just entertaining them, adored every single one of them. Also, my 16th birthday in Zambia! Loved everything second of it!”

“I really learnt a lot about myself this trip along with a whole new part of the world and how blind we are to how other people in our world are living. I don’t think we will never truly understand until you are there experiencing it yourselves. This trip definitely made me appreciate what I have, not just materialistic things but my family, friends and time I have with people.”


This post was written by Kate Alty using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.