Arrive in Livingstone at any time. Make your own way to your accommodation. Our first night will be spent at The Zambezi Waterfront Lodge in Livingstone, located on the banks of the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls. This night will be spent in the Tented "Adventure Village", designed to attract more adventurous travellers (and of course the young at heart). Enjoy your first day in Livingstone free at leisure as you will only be picked up for your volunteer portion in the morning of day 2 at 9am. Please find more information at the Gap Adventures reception desk at the Waterfront. From Day 2 to Day 7 you will overnight in our volunteer house in Livingstone. All meals will be on your own account on Day 1 and breakfast on Day 2. Livingstone is great base to kick-off this southern African adventure, to see both some natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities. Get up close (at wet from the spray) while awing at the immense Victoria Falls, raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, for the more adventurous, bungee jump with the Victoria Falls in view. David Livingstone was born on March 19, 1813 in the village of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. He first studied Greek, medicine, and theology at the University of Glasgow and while working in London, joined the London Missionary Society became a minister. He originally planned to gain access to China through his medical knowledge. The Opium Wars, which were raging at this stage with no signs of peace on the horizon, forced Livingstone to consider other options. From 1840 he worked in Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana), and in the period 1852–56, he explored the African interior, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfall (which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria). Livingstone was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa. The purpose of his journey was to open the routes, while accumulating useful information about the African continent. In particular, Livingstone was a proponent of trade and Christian missions to be established in central Africa. His motto, inscribed in the base of the statue to him at Victoria Falls, was “Christianity, Commerce and Civilization.” The town of Livingstone is a regional transport center, being located near the borders of Botswana and Zimbabwe, and serves as a base for the many visitors to see this part of Africa, and the impressive Victoria Falls, a mere 12km from Livingstone. The Victoria Falls waterfalls occur in a country that is perfectly flat. From its source on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambezi River meanders for 1300 km across the wooded plateau of Zambia, eroding for itself a shallow valley on its mild descent to the site of the falls. The river eventually found a weak spot on the lower lip of the surface over which it passed, and forced a passage which was steadily deepened into an exit gorge. During the last half million years the river has scoured out eight of these cracks across its bed. The Victoria falls occurs where the river is 1688 m wide, presents the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million liters of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls, the Devil’s Cataract, Main falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow falls and the Eastern Cataract. The highest of these is Rainbow falls, on an average 108 m high. A peak flood sees 750 million liters of water in one minute hurtling over the falls. The name Zambezi comes from the Tonka tribe, also meaning Great River, but the Sotho-speaking Kololo people of the upper reaches of the river gave it the well-known name of Mosi o a Thunya (smoke that rises). The Lozi people call it by the same name but translated it into smoke that sounds. The Ndebele call it aManza Thunqayo (the water that rises like smoke). The Namibian people call it Chinotimba (a noise-making place like the distant sound of digging).
Transfer to the volunteer house and begin your placement. Assist local medical clinics and community care facilities in Livingstone. Medical Volunteers spend their time providing much needed support within the medical establishments of Livingstone. You do not need to be qualified for our Medical Project; you just need the desire to help. Those who do have any medical training or background will be able to use their skills to offer more specialized assistance to the communities, which is hugely appreciated by the local people. The Medical Project can consist of 3 main areas of work: 1) Rural Home Based Care - Our volunteers accompany community volunteers as they visit bed ridden or immobile patients across Livingstone, many of whom are suffering from HIV/AIDS. It is their duty to provide basic advice, comfort and assistance to members of the community with little to no access to clinics or hospitals. This may mean basic First Aid including wound dressing, dispensing of basic medication in critical cases and chatting to patients about the importance of hygiene, a healthy diet and exercise. Home Based Care is also about assisting those incapable of taking care of themselves by making a patient's bed, doing a bit of simple house work for them, and generally trying to improve their circumstance in the most basic yet effective way. Please note that this can be a shocking experience, we visit some very deprived areas which can be quite upsetting, but volunteers almost always comment that HBC is a valuable experience that offers a deeper insight into the lives of those suffering from terminal illness, and gives them a better understanding of Zambian society and local health care available. 2) Maramba Old People's Home - Medical volunteers provide general assistance to the elderly residents to make their every day lives easier. They check the residents’ health by taking vitals – blood pressure, temperature and weight – to monitor health, treat bed sores, increase mobility and general health of the residents and address any medical issues that arise. The home is poorly funded by the government and the residents mostly have no family to look after them. Volunteers also conduct health talks with the elderly residents, educating and encouraging them about personal hygiene and health, cleaning their laundry, tidying and cleaning their living areas, working in the communal vegetable garden which feeds the residents, etc. Volunteers also provide a friendly face to these people who have little entertainment or interaction by going armed with games, puzzles and a smile! 4) HIV Education and Health Talks – Many health issues in Livingstone could be improved with a little education. HIV is a serious problem that continues to grow and the trend can only be reversed through education. Numerous health issues could be reduced through improved hygiene and nutrition. Volunteers work in small groups to teach about communicable diseases, healthy living, and HIV awareness and prevention. Selective Project: HIV Education in Prisons – Inmates of the local prison are a group within the local population that is vulnerable and highly susceptible to contracting HIV/AIDS and as such are an important audience to deliver the message about HIV, prevention, awareness, breaking stigma and living positively for those who are infected by the virus. We have received highly encouraging feedback from the prison about the positive influence the course has already had amongst the inmates, including being a catalyst for behavioral change and volunteers have found the prisoners to be a very engaging and interested audience who ask plenty of intelligent questions about the subject. This education also forms an important part of rehabilitating inmates back into society once they are released. Please note that this project is not available to all medical volunteers and participants will be carefully selected at the project managers’ discretion based on criteria such as age, medical background, ability to communicate effectively in English, etc. Please note: You must ensure that you bring originals or certified copies of your medical qualifications in order for you to be allowed to work in specialized sections of maternity wards or laboratories. Please also send copies of your documents, or communicate what your level of experience/qualifications are, to your booking agent before you arrive. COMMUNITY PROJECTS After having spent the morning in Home Based Care, you will help out the local community in different areas in the afternoon. You will rotate between the following community projects: 1) Build / paint / refurbish schools and clinics Schools in Livingstone deal with a great shortage of classrooms, and as a result most children do not receive the full day of class that they need. With the help and guidance of professional builders and the community we are aiming to build new classrooms for as many schools as we can raise funds for. Volunteers will help with mixing cement, making and laying bricks, laying concrete floors, plastering walls, and painting. It is hard, but highly rewarding work. In addition, we refurbish and paint existing classrooms and partner up with our various community stakeholders to assist them where we can. 2) Home Based Care / Farming There are several Home Based Care Programs run by local volunteers in the surrounding districts of Livingstone. The volunteer workers spend each morning visiting patients within their local community. The patients generally have HIV (and various afflictions due to a low immune system), TB and Malaria to name a few aliments. Patients often cannot afford to go the clinic or hospital, or have family to help with their condition. The Home Based Care community volunteers rely on medical supplies given to them by the government health department (which happens rarely) or donations. However, some have their own land that they use to farm for the purpose of raising money for their initiative. This is obviously the most sustainable way to ensure their project continues independently of aid. We would like to assist all communities in setting up farming initiatives, as well as helping with actual work on the farm. The goal is to help in the initial set-up stages by assisting with the acquisition of land, tools and seeds. Volunteers then help to prepare the land and work alongside the committee of local farmers and Home Based Care Givers with planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. With each new planting season, the local committee becomes more self-sufficient and are able to purchase more of their own seeds, allowing new farms to be developed. 3) Reading Club: We arrange for students at various schools to come to the club in the afternoon where our volunteers will assist with the literacy skills and reading of the children. As a volunteer, armed with your box of books, you will arrive at the school and help give the students the extra support that they need including teaching them phonics, spelling, pronunciation and general reading and comprehension skills. It is essential that kids are literate in English in order to complete their education and improve their chances of securing a job later on in life. 4) Art Club: Volunteers will plan their own art club using suggested lesson plans, their initiative and creative ideas. Here you can encourage students to deal with a variety of issues through art. For example; you can hold an Anti Drugs campaign using your art club to produce posters, or make demonstrative models in order to educate them on many different topics. You could also produce seasonal art e.g. Christmas Cards, Christmas decorations, Easter Masks etc. Have finger painting sessions or paper mache - the possibilities are endless. There is not much time in the syllabus for creative activities so this is a great outlet for the kids, and lots of fun. 5) Adult Literacy Club: Not only a very popular activity amongst volunteers but also an extremely important project aimed at helping adults become more employable through literacy. This is a structured syllabus with beginners / intermediate / advanced classes, lesson plans, tests and a certificate upon successful completion. The course will improve the students understanding of English both written and reading, as well as mathematics. Having these skills makes people more employable in a country where the employment rate is only around 50%. 6) Maramba Old People’s Home (MOPH) Elderly homes are not common in Zambia, and Africa in general, because culturally elders in a community stay with and are cared for by their family. People arrive at MOPH, therefore, from far and wide, destitute and typically without anyone to look after or visit them. Volunteers assist the understaffed facility with daily tasks such as cleaning, cooking, etc. and also engage the residents in games, reading, physical activities, etc. The project is a great way to provide stimulation and improve the living conditions for the residents. 7) Family Support Kids here have to grow up really quickly as they are expected to help out with numbers of chores at home and older siblings help to look after the younger ones in typically large families. Volunteers run structured play times with children at pre-selected locations, taking along balls, jump ropes and colouring books and crayons, and spend the afternoon interacting and having fun with the kids. This time allows them an opportunity just to be kids; to play games, be carefree and expend some of their boundless energy. The work of volunteers is very much appreciated within the communities. You will meet the friendliest, nicest, craziest, most determined, and zealous African people, who are guaranteed to inspire and motivate you! Project Typical Day: 0700: Its rise and shine, and time for breakfast. The volunteers also spend some time preparing for the day, ensuring they have everything they need in their medical bags. 0745: Off to work. Some mornings you will join volunteer community care givers visiting sick patients in their homes and offering much needed advice, support and basic medical supplies. 1130: You will be picked up from your project and be taken back to the house for lunch 1200: Lunch 1300: Planning Session - You are given time to prepare for afternoon or other projects you may need to prepare for, this may mean designing and making posters, researching, writing quiz’s or tests or simply gathering supplies. 13:30: Depart for your community project. This may be farming, building, or painting. It may mean an art or a reading club, assisting with home based care or in the Maramba Old People’s Home. You may also be involved in planning and delivering one of our workshops to the kids of the community schools covering topics such as basic first aid, drugs and alcohol awareness, HIV and AIDS or “Life Skills”. 16:30: You will arrive back to the house for supper after your projects (dinner served between 17h30 and 18h00). Your evening is free, so why not treat yourself to a meal out, or simply sit and enjoy a beer with your fellow volunteers or in front of the TV whilst planning for the next day. Important Notes/Dates to be aware of: Please see below the dates of Zambian school terms and public holidays for 2011. As we work within local communities our projects are affected by these dates; local partners take time off to spend with their families on public holidays and our school/education-based programmes are structured slightly differently during the school holidays and 2 weeks preceding holidays whilst examinations are in progress. Some of our projects may be put on hold whilst the kids are on leave, but there is no shortage of important and rewarding community work to be done here. School terms 2012 (approx): First term: 10 January to 8 April Second term: 9 May to 5 August Third term: 5 September to 2 December Public holidays: 1 January New Years Day March (2nd Monday) Youth Day Varies Good Friday Varies Easter Sunday Varies Easter Monday 1 May Labour Day 25 May Africa Day July (1st Monday) Heroes Day July (1st Tuesday) Unity Day August (1st Monday) Farmers Day 24 October Independence Day 25 December Christmas Day Please be advised that we endeavour to keep all of our project documents up to date; however, due to the constantly evolving nature of sustainable projects expect amendments within all programmes. Some projects will become self sufficient and no longer require the assistance of volunteers, others will slightly change focus and new ones will begin.
Depart at any time, with an included transfer to take you to the airport. If you are interested in volunteering for more time, you can extend your stay for up to 8 weeks.
•Assist staff with basic care, take vital signs and help with record keeping •Work alongside caregivers on visits to homes throughout the region •Lend a hand with school refurbishment and building projects •Spend afternoons assisting adult literacy, reading and art clubs •Spend time with residents at a home for the elderly—and organize activities •Relax in the evenings at the volunteer house with fellow volunteers •Visit nearby Victoria Falls and take advantage of the variety of activities on offer