My first experience with IDEALS was as a student leader in a community called Kalingalinga. Kalingalinga is a compound on the outskirts of Lusaka with many community children who are orphaned and unable to attend school. In this community I taught PE, coached netball and volleyball as well as run HIV and Aids workshops in Life skills.
Following this experience I was successfully appointed the role of Team Leader alongside a fellow student for the IDEALS project to run and co-ordinate the project on behalf of UK Sport and the Wallace Universities for the 4 month duration of the project.
This experience of being a team leader in the 8th poorest country in the world changed the course of my life forever. The high level of interpersonal skills and prioritising required when carrying out the role successfully meant we were to be extremely adaptable and composed under pressure. My fellow team leader and I worked together to ensure students on the project developed both professionally through their roles within communities as well as personally through reflection and self-management.
Team leader was one of 3 roles I took on whilst out in Zambia in 2010; I was also the netball development officer for the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) and took on project manager of the netball build project on behalf of alumni charity ‘Umutima’ (formally Friend of EduSport).I can whole heartedly say that I would not have the confidence, motivation and conviction in all that I do if I had not been given the opportunity to lead the IDEALS project with such a fantastic team, in an incredible country lead by both UK Sport and the Wallace group.
Andrew Jenkin - 2009, 2010
I had originally got involved with the IDEALS project as a journalism/film and media student for Stirling University in 2009. I realise how clichéd and overly dramatic it might sound, but I did genuinely find the experience to be life changing. Not just for my own personal future experiences and career, but it completely altered my mindset and outlook on life.
I think it's extremely hard to summarise the emotions you experience and trying to paint a picture for some of the situations you come across in Zambia is near impossible, however the one thing I can certainly conclude from my 6 weeks in 2009 and 4 months in 2010 is that sport truly does have the power to change lives. Perhaps not entirely on its own, and perhaps it can't help everyone - but it possesses elements that can bring people together and help them work together for a better life.
It was this realisation that inspired me to want to help beyond the project. I had been working with a very special young man called Kelvin who had previously been a peer leader in the community of Kalingalinga. I didn't want the end of my time as part of the IDEALS project to be the end of my connection to Zambia as I still I had something to offer. My time in the country had given me energy and passion to do something; to help develop a sustainable project, which could help all members of a community through sport.
With the help of Kelvin we set about supporting a community team in Kalingalinga and started profiling members of the team. We wanted to use the team as a vehicle to develop education, health care and enterprise within the community. Once profiled, we identified which members of the team could most benefit from sponsorship to finish their schooling (as many were either orphans or had to drop out for financial reasons) and found sponsors in the UK who wanted to help the project (which we had titled 'Africa on the Ball'). Africa on the Ball became a charity in 2013 and has continued to grow. We've grown our Trustee board, hold regular fundraising tournaments, benefitted from a free website (africaontheball.org), have strong social media followings and have big aspirations to replicate a sport development model not only in other communities in Zambia, but across the continent.
Being involved firstly in IDEALS and secondly Africa on the Ball has been a very meaningful and empowering experience. Since realising and understanding the potential sport has to change and develop lives, I've been committed to working towards using it in all walks of life, not only in Africa but in the UK too. I owe a lot of the experiences I've enjoyed to the IDEALS project and remain as passionate about using sport to help people across the world as ever.
Jess Brown – Cardiff University - 2016
Keon Richardson – Bath University - 2016
When arriving in Kalingalinga the first thing you notice is a painted wall stating ‘KTown, the heart of Lusaka’. A bold statement but it only takes a matter of days to understand the meaning behind this. If you’re looking to leave Zambia with a new extended family, then KTown will not disappoint.
The placement itself offers a large dirt/dust 11 a-side football pitch which is effectively marked out with coal when needed. At the top end is a concrete netball court which doubles as a great space for PE. Due to the location of the facilities it also doubles up as the school playground, community hang-out and the central meeting point for KTown residents. This offers a diverse and ever changing environment.
All the schools are within walking distance from the pitch and court allowing some fascinating journeys across K Town. The young children we worked with, both in training and PE have a good understanding of English, and they’re always willing to teach you Nanja. If you’re lucky enough to work alongside Gracious or Moses this will maximise your time in KTown. They are fantastic peer leaders linked through Edusport and will always go the extra mile for you.
Kalingalinga offers a very busy but very rewarding timetable
in a community filled with the biggest hearts and smiles.
‘Aspire to inspire’