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November 2007 Travel Zambia 53Exciting, innovative, passionate & fifteen years of tailor-making Zambian safarisBANGWEULU KAFUE KASANKA LIVINGSTONE LOWER ZAMBEZI LUANGWA 0845 130 6982wildlifeworldwide.com

54 Travel Zambia November 2007 NkaniNkaniVakachaVakacha Volunteering A helping hand As more tourists approach travel with a conscience, the range of opportunities for volunteer work is increasing. But the choice in Zambia can be bewildering. Tricia Hayne has some words of advice for budding volunteers. About you Before you pick up the phone, think through exactly what you want and what you can offer. Consider the following questions: How long do you have? Schemes range from two weeks to two years. Where do your strengths lie? Conservation, education and working with AIDS orphans are the main areas, but there are lots more. Would you be happy in an isolated rural community, or more comfortable working as part of a team in, say, Livingstone? How much are you prepared to spend? Costs vary, but for a fortnight’s organised trip you can expect to pay at least US$2,000. This usually covers board and lodging, and a contribution to the charity, but not air fares, insurance or visas. Organising your trip directly can cut costs, but check what you’re letting yourself in for. About the organisations Here are a few organisations you could try. There are many more. VSO (www.vso.org.uk): The UK’s best-known voluntary organisation. Placements typically last one to two years, but short-term opportunities are available too. Peace Corps (www.peacecorps.gov): Similar in concept to VSO, the Peace Corps is run by the US government. i-to-i (www.i-to-i.com): An established link company that also runs meaningful tours of around four weeks. Typically, a safari is sandwiched between work in a rural mission hospital. Responsible Travel (www.responsibletravel.com): A holiday operator specialising in volunteering holidays and placements of up to six months. Kasanka National Park (www.kasanka.com): A good opportunity for mature travellers to share their skills for a month or more. Tikondane (http://tikondane.org): A community project in Eastern Province that welcomes volunteers for a month or more, in return for discounted board and lodging. Volunteer helps build girls’ dorm In May the first ever volunteer arrived at Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust in South Luangwa. Ian Bremner, a documentary film producer, took a break from work in the UK to project-manage the construction of a 48-bed dormitory at Mfuwe Secondary School. Previously the girl boarders had lived in a small three-bedroom house without beds or furniture; it was after Ian had seen these terrible conditions that he decided to become involved. The Dormitory Appeal had been co-ordinated in the UK for over two years and, thanks to the generous donations of supporters, reached its target of £12,000 – though the spiralling costs of cement meant more funds were needed. The dormitory is now finished, complete with 28 bunk beds and 48 new mattresses. Next up, at a cost of £3,000, is a borehole, so the girls don’t have to walk too far for water. Find out more at www.chipembele.org. DID YOU KNOW? More than 72 different languages and dialects are spoken in Zambia. Among the more important are Bemba (2.25 million speakers); Nyanja (1 million); Lozi (500,000), Tumbuka (430,000) and Nsenga (330,000). Money for honey UK-based charity ADD (Action on Disability and Development) is supporting the The Kagunda Disabled People’s Beekeeping Project. The project is run by members of the Zambia National Association of the Physically Handicapped (ZNAPH) in Chipata, and was set up in 2005 with a loan from Zambia’s Forestry Department. ‘With the help of ADD we were able to raise the money from the government,’ says Sackarla. ‘When we have repaid this loan, we hope to expand to a third site.’ With now more than 90 beehives, each producing 20–25kg of honey per year that sell for K10,000 per jar, they have good reason to be optimistic. ADD works with disabled people in Africa and Asia, supporting their right to earn a living, often in the face of discrimination. It also supports campaigns to change attitudes, laws and policies that have a long-term impact on the lives of all disabled people – people like Sackarla. Find out more at www.add.org.uk. ACTION ON DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT