Our goal, over an eight week period was to work as teaching assistants with local schools, in the town of Kabwe, Central Province, Zambia
I myself had a very unique, and special experience, working in The Caleb Centre, a school set up by local people, with the aim of providing education to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other intellectual disabilities. This is the first centre of it's kind in Zambia, and it truly is a magical place.
During our stay, we tried to ensure that the children always had a good time and enjoyed themselves, as well as trying to make their environment and surroundings as accommodating and supportive as possible. Every morning we used to sing and dance with the children, and every afternoon was spent out in the yard playing football or using the sandpit.
We also helped out around the school itself, painting murals and decorating classrooms, to make The Caleb Centre an even more inviting place for all who attend, as well as engaging the children moreso with their environment.
Kabwe is a very warm and welcoming town. There are street markets and vendors where you can buy all your fruit and veg, as welll as three supermarkets where you can get pretty much everything you can get at home.
Throughout the whole Suas experience, you are living and working with some amazing people, who may even become friends for life!
You spend most of the day together, in very close quarters, and sometimes in very challenging environments, where you learn so much about one another, and about yourself.
Everyone is going through something completely different to what they are used to at home, pushing their own boundaries and stepping out of their comfort zone. You learn to depend on one another, and help each other out, in a way that I cannot completely describe.
On some of the weekends, we travelled together as a team, to Livingstone and Victoria falls, as well as to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. We saw some amazing things together and thoroughly enjoyed the down time.
The Suas Volunteer Programme is honestly one of the best things I've ever been part of, and is something that I would recommend to anyone who wants to do something a little different, and really push themselves outside of their comfort zone.