Good day friends, family and anyone else that stumbles across this page,
What is happening? Well, as some of you already know I am hoping to spend 7 weeks this summer volunteering in Zambia with Durham Student Theatre on an exciting and potentially life changing project.
The DST is working alongside the NGO’s ‘Sport in Action’ and ‘EduSport’ to improve the quality of life for the local and national Zambian communities. However, the DST project is unique in using theatre, rather than sport, as a tool for communication and social development. The project aims to engage, educate and raise aspirations in the communities with regards to prevalent social issues of heath/hygiene, education, gender empowerment and equality, child protection and HIV/AIDS. It will do so by leading workshops and theatrical performances FINISH. Therefore, it will simultaneously be an enjoyable experience for many underprivileged children and their families, leaving these people with priceless life skills, increased confidence and greater social awareness that we hope will provide them with a better future.
So how does it all work? 6 students from Durham University have been selected to run and participate in the project for 2013 and I am gratefully one of them.
We have been organising various performances for local authorities, businesses and members of the arts community which should raise the profile of the project and allow us to discuss prevalent issues in the local area exploring ways our project can grow to assist the community’s needs specifically. However, the focus of the project is the 5 week placements with schools, orphanages and community centres such as Libala Basic and High school, Barefoot, and Fountain of Hope, a shelter for homeless children. Here we will lead workshops some of which will simply provide children and people in the local areas a release from the daily struggle, and others which will aim to educate, inform and spread awareness of social issues and methods of overcoming them and improving quality of living. The workshops will culminate in a small performance with the children at the end of the 5 weeks, displaying important messages in a didactic style in hope that the children participating and watching learn to interact with this method of theatrical teaching. Therefore, the individual work of each of us 6 students is pivotal to the success of the project and the majority of the projects work involves us actually teaching, leading or performing to communities.
The use of theatre to deal with such vital concerns of international development may seem unusual but the networks, foundations and successes achieved by last year’s project has shown that the project can have a positive lasting impact on the communities worked with. The future potential of this project is unlimited and it could make a real difference to the Zambian society, however, this relies on the ability of us to build a sustainable relationship with the community, provide the right equipment/supplies and continue the project this year.
How can I help support? To ensure the longevity of this project and the success of the 2013 expedition we need all the support we can get, donations of any size are welcomed. I have created this page therefore to spread the word of this exciting endeavour and hope that many of you can see that it is a worthwhile cause to support. Whilst I am not fundraising for a large NGO or registered charity (it is in the process of gaining charity status) I ask you to recognise that the work we will be doing is very similar, and that any donations will be going towards a fantastic and unique project. If you have ever wanted to help an underprivileged community and do your bit I urge you to donate. Some of the money will be to help me get to Zambia so that I can continue the project with my team, and other parts of the money will go directly towards supplies and equipment for the schools and orphanages. If you want to help all you have to do is become a Baker and donations are completed on line, I would be so grateful for anything that you can give no matter what the size. I hope you appreciate my excitement, gratitude and belief in this project and consider it a worthwhile case to support.
If anyone has any more questions about what the project entails feel free to email me for more information at [email protected] Thank you in advance to anyone that has a chance donate, it is deeply appreciated.
Here are the links to the Sport in Action and EduSport websites NGO that the project works alongside.
Thank you so much in advance,