The project offers students the opportunity to add value to their University education, enhance their global awareness, develop their leadership skills and improve their teaching abilities or media know-how. Students work alongside the Zambian non-government organization, Sport in Action to run a wide range of sports and physical activities. The initiative focuses on the positive impact that sport can have upon impoverished communities, helping to improve the quality of their lives and delivering key health messages.
Each year, the 7 UK universities select and train around 30-40 student volunteers, working hard to develop and broaden their coaching knowledge and experience prior to their venture. The students are then split into three groups, with each group spending 6 weeks in Zambia over the summer between June and September. In addition, there is an opportunity for students to extend their trip for a further 10-14 days by participating in the rural placement scheme organized by the University of St Andrews. The placements are quite different from the IDEALS Project run from Lusaka as they provide students with the unique opportunity of experiencing Zambian culture first-hand by living with host families within the rural villages.
Volunteer Zambia is delivered in partnership with Zambian NGO Sport in Action and the 7 Wallace Group Universities.
Over the last ten years, the Wallace Group, in partnership with UK Sport, has been sending specialist sports and media students out to Lusaka (the capital of Zambia) to work with local volunteers, delivering school PE lessons, community sports programmes and health awareness workshops within the deprived areas of the city’s compounds.
Through the provision of sport, The International Development Through Excellence Leaders and Sports (IDEALS) Project aims to focus on the positive impact that sport can have upon impoverished communities, which are often affected by high levels of unemployment, crime, exclusion and many health risks, including HIV and AIDS. By encouraging children and young people to attend sessions, it is hoped that sport can be used as a medium to develop motivation, self-development and self-reliance and help improve the quality of their lives.