April 26, 2017
Ever thought about giving yourself a completely new challenge? My own ideas for new challenges usually range from considering learning Italian at evening classes to wondering if I can manage a weekend without Dairy Milk. But 10 local women are looking forward to a much more inspiring and life changing adventure: next month they will head out to rural Zambia on a self-funded trip to share skills at Nayamba school. We caught up with some of the team to find out what motivated them to be part of the journey.
Over the past few years I have supported this amazing charity and followed the progress and development of the school. It has been so inspiring to watch the videos, see photos and listen to the stories. I have always wanted to go out there and help in any way I can, and this year seems to be the right time to have this fantastic opportunity. To be able to share my love for learning through sport and have the experience of working with young people and teachers at Nayamba School is both exciting and nerve wracking.
I am thrilled to be heading out to Nayamba school in Zambia this May. I’m nervous as well as excited, but I’m fundamentally keen to see if I can help in a hands-on way with this awesome project. I will assist with basic teaching techniques, art and craft projects and active games. It will be an insight into another world and a chance to help and influence an amazing community. Hopefully we’ll make a positive difference.
Last year, on my first visit to Nayamba, the new buildings were in the final stages of completion. The school is now a much bigger place with more capacity to develop the children's learning. I am excited to see the changes they have made since my last visit and to support the teaching further with a willing and open group of Nayamba teachers.
I’ve worked at Alphington Primary School over two decades in a variety of roles - from Class Teacher to Deputy Head to Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator… and more besides. I am still constantly bowled over by the enthusiasm of our staff, children and parents for learning and for life. Two of my colleagues went to Nayamba School last year and came back impressed and excited by the same attitudes and passion there. I’m really looking forward to my own visit this summer – to broaden my horizons, visit a part of the world I’ve never been to before, and to share any knowledge and skills that I can, with particular regard to Special Educational Needs. I know that we are incredibly fortunate in the resources, knowledge and community we share here at Alphington, and I know that I will learn as much and more than I am able to teach when I visit Nayamba. I’m so looking forward to it!
I remember being at Secondary School when Exeter College were first organising a volunteering opportunity abroad. I was 15-years-old: too young to go (as well as not having the finances). I was gutted to miss out on such an experience. I remember hearing about what everyone thought of it and how incredible it was, and I felt as though I’d really missed out on something. After that, I promised myself that I wouldn’t turn down a similar opportunity if it came my way in the future; no matter what position I was in, I would make it work. Here I am, nine years on, a secondary school teacher myself and ready to share my knowledge and experience where possible. I feel I have so much to gain from this experience both professionally and personally. I cannot be thankful enough to be in this position and I’m beyond excited counting down the days until we leave!
I am really looking forward to traveling to rural Zambia with this group of wonderful teachers to volunteer at Nayamba school. Since first hearing about the school, I have been eager to help in any way possible. The prospect of actually visiting the school, to contribute to the development of teaching and learning, sounded too good to be true.
Whilst at the school, I will be helping to develop the teaching of phonics and early reading through whole staff training and team teaching. I am really excited about the potential impact of this project and, having spoken to last year’s volunteers, I understand that this should be of great benefit to both the pupils and teachers.
If you feel inspired to find out more, why not explore the video links on our home page or click on the ‘Get Involved’ tab.