Women’s Empowerment in Zambia

Women are a powerful force for change in Africa – investing in adolescent girls is essential to reducing poverty, improving health and encouraging future economic growth. Students, both male and female, should expect a life-changing experience!

Program Overview

Women are a powerful force for change in Africa – investing in adolescent girls is essential to reducing poverty, improving health and encouraging future economic growth. The “Girl Impact” initiative aims to provide opportunities for adolescent girls through education, health, safety, early pregnancy, making a living and confidence in self. Enthusiastic volunteers, both male and female, are needed to help make this a reality.

Participants (male or female) should expect a life-changing experience as they work and travel in Zambia. Volunteers will experience and see things that will change their worldview, challenge their norms and challenge the way they see life – all while they change the lives of others while volunteering abroad.

Volunteers live and work in Livingstone, a sizable region that consists of a populous city and expansive outlying communities on the border with Zimbabwe. Nearby Victoria Falls, national parks and game reserves provide countless adventures, while the welcoming Zambian locals will keep you culturally engaged.

Project Details:

  • Project Activities: Focus areas include education, health, early pregnancy, safety, making a living, confidence in self, involving boys
  • Project Availability: Year-round, arrival dates every Monday of the month
  • Project Duration: 2-12 weeks
  • Working Hours: Monday to Friday, approximately 7 hours (not including lunch break)
  • Location: Livingstone, Zambia
  • Excursions: There are a variety of cultural activities and places of interest volunteers can choose to visit on their own (at own expense) outside of project hours. Our on-site staff can assist in providing advice.
  • Support: 24-hour on-site support from our Site Coordinators and Continent Site Director (in Cape Town)
  • Police check is required
  • Minimum Age: 18+
  • Language: English

A workshop, guest lecture and/or presentation will also be conducted by one or more of the following organisations:

  • Wayawaya – a local social enterprise for empowering women
  • One of the local girl impact mentors – to talk about Zambian culture, working with girls and the issues they face and how the girl impact program is benefiting the community
  • Head sister from Linda/Maramba Clinic – to talk about the Zambian medical system, challenges faced, health regulations, medical differences, etc.
  • Head of Lumuuno Training Centre – to talk about the issues women face with further education/finding employment, how the program helps with this and then share some of their success stories
  • Senior social worker from Lubasi Girls homes – a safe house for girls that are victims of sexual violence – to talk about how they work with the community to identify girls, the process that follows once they are in the house and how they then work to empower them
  • A local caregiver from Pure Skills – a small NGO that focuses on skills training using recycled and up-cycled materials – to talk about home-based care

Highlights

This program provides a unique combination of meaningful and rewarding volunteer work with exceptional cultural immersion and social opportunities galore. There are a number of great features and essentially something for everyone.

Here are a few great reasons to participate in this program:

  • Make a positive impact in adolescent girls’ lives – giving them skills, support and inspiration
  • Opportunity to work in maternal health with a focus on puberty, working within schools and being part of a program that sees direct measureable results
  • Help design, lead and communicate education programs for young females
  • Learn a range of core skills – communication, organisational, cultural, gender equity, group dynamics
  • Be involved and help lead open discussions to help change attitudes
  • Students will engage with community members and women leaders
  • Encourage business skills and income generation
  • Be part of a Youth Clinic and Anti-Bullying workshops
  • Get involved within the community and with those who need support
  • Choose from heaps of both relaxing options and high adrenaline adventure activities during time off
  • Friendly people – the work of a volunteer is very much appreciated by the communities. You will meet the friendliest, most gracious, most determined and zealous people, who are guaranteed to inspire and motivate you!
  • Various locations – you will be based within under-privileged communities in various districts of Livingstone
  • Make friends for life with fellow volunteers – the project places you in the same accommodation and with similar social / cultural programming as volunteers on other projects, so you can swap stories and learn from each other
  • Visit the majestic Victoria Falls, also known as “The Smoke That Thunders” – one of the many popular tourist attractions easily accessible from Livingstone
  • Explore further afield to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to see different people and places
  • A workshop, guest lecture and / or presentation will be conducted by one or more local organisation on topics such as empowering women and girls, the Zambia medical system, skills training, home-based care, etc.

Sample Itinerary

Volunteers will work Mondays to Fridays for approximately seven hours a day (not including a lunch break). You will have weekends to relax, enjoy the local attractions or go exploring. While an exact daily schedule is difficult to outline as activities depend on the volunteers’ skills and interests, the information below provides a rough idea of how a day on the program will look like:

Weekdays

Mondays

  • AM – Farming
  • PM – First Monday is general induction. Subsequent Mondays are health talks / career talks / skills training, etc.

Tuesdays

  • AM – Girls Workshops AGEP for 10-12 year olds (Adolescent Girl Empowerment Program)
  • PM – Maths Club for girls aged 12-14

Wednesdays

  • AM – Women’s workshops
  • PM – Girls Workshops for 12-14 year olds

Thursdays

  • AM – Preparation. Or, adhoc skills training / dance sessions, etc
  • PM – Rugby

Fridays

  • AM – Farming
  • PM – Maths Club for girls aged 12-14

Weekends
Weekends are free to explore and enjoy your time off. There is plenty to see and do in Livingstone. Go to the city to shop and eat, relax by the pool at the Volunteer House, or participate in one of the many adventure sports that are offered nearby.

The Volunteer's Role

On arrival, you will go through an in-depth orientation program and be given time for observation to prepare you adequately for your role as a volunteer.

Participants (male or female) should expect a life-changing experience as they work and travel in Zambia. Volunteers will experience and see things that will change their worldview, challenge their norms and challenge the way they see life – all while they change the lives of others while volunteering abroad.

A portion of the program fee directly supports the project’s various initiatives and employs local staff. Your work as a volunteer in Livingstone supports a long-term effort addressing local needs that cannot be properly sustained without the support of overseas volunteers.

As a volunteer on the Women’s Empowerment project in Livingstone, you’ll enjoy a variety of project duties according to your skills and interests as well as the project needs and local demands at the time. Whether you are experienced in the areas of gender equality, women’s empowerment or interested in how women can drive solutions to poverty, or simply interested in community development, you will have plenty to keep you busy, engaged and feeling fulfilled at the end of each day.

The following are some common project types volunteers may assist with:

EDUCATION: 
Give more girls access to education so they stay in school longer and have a better chance to make a living. Volunteers will run Career and Goal Setting workshops and also assist with marking tests, homework or simple class exercises.

HEALTH:
Educate girls and boys about relevant health risks and prevention and provide support for those who are living with health issues. Volunteers will work with local partners, schools and clinics to meet with girls to provide the latest information on health safety and education. Together we want these girls to know their bodies and the importance of living a healthy life.

EARLY PREGNANCY:
Educate girls and boys to help avoid unwanted pregnancy and support girls who are dealing with teenage pregnancy and motherhood. Working with local clinics and schools, volunteers will help educate girls on the importance of healthy relationships and practicing safe sex.

SAFETY:
Change attitudes on the issue of violence against girls and support girls who have been affected by violence. Working with organisations that specialise in education on gender-based violence, this project will host workshops and activities aimed at boys and girls on this important topic. Workshops will also be hosted for teachers so they can learn how to handle behaviour including bullying and rape.

MAKING A LIVING:
Prepare girls to make a living as they get older by discussing their options, teaching skills and supporting their efforts. Volunteers will run entrepreneur training and educate girls on how to start and run a successful business from the ground up. Older men and women will also help with skills training and act as mentors for the younger girls.

CONFIDENCE IN SELF:
Help build up girls’ self-esteem and confidence so they can take more responsibility for their future. Girl Talk is an after school drop-in club and safe place for girls to come together to make friends, learn and support each other. Guest speakers are also brought in to discuss all things that relate to being a girl and woman in Zambia.

INVOLVING BOYS:
One of the important focuses of this project is including and educating boys and young men about gender inequality. They are an integral part of shaping society’s beliefs and attitudes towards women, so they will be included in some workshops and discussions. Courses will also be offered specifically curated for boys and men.

Excursions

There are a variety of activities to get involved with during your free time (at own expense):

GO ON SAFARI – Livingstone, Zambia is safari country. Here you can spot a whole lot of wildlife, do rhino bushwalks and get up close and personal on an elephant-back safari.

EXPERIENCE VICTORIA FALLS & ZAMBEZI ADVENTURES – Take advantage of your proximity to the great and mighty Victoria Falls as well as the other adventures the Zambezi has to offer. Zambezi boat cruises, river safaris, river fishing safaris and canoe trips are all ways in which you can encounter these great waters. You can also ride quad bike trails or view the scenery from a helicopter.

GET INVOLVED IN GROUP ACTIVITIES – During your stay at Livingstone Backpackers, you have the opportunity to play volleyball with the locals, explore the variety of restaurants and bars in town, watch a movie under the stars at night and braai (BBQ) with your group of new friends.

ENJOY CULTURAL TOURS & MARKETS – Although you will be spending time in the community, you will also be able to embark on a cultural tour to a local African village, giving you further insight into another way of life. You can also shop at some of the many markets and stock up on locally hand-made goods for your loved ones back home.

There are a huge number of optional activities and trips that are available to you (at an additional cost), whilst on the project. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Dinner/sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
  • 2 nights on an island paradise in the Zambezi, inclusive of several activities and meals
  • 2 nights on safari in Chobe National Park
  • The world’s most exciting white water rafting on the Zambezi River
  • Bungee jumping and gorge swings over the Batoka Gorge below Victoria Falls
  • Lion walk and encounter
  • Elephant-back safaris
  • Canoeing safaris on the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls
  • Game drives in Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

Location

The project is based in Livingstone, a pleasant city of about 140,000 people just north of the Zambezi River and the border of Zimbabwe. A major tourist hub, especially for visitors to Victoria Falls, Livingstone is considered among Southern Africa’s finest “adventure centres.” The city enjoys most of the modern amenities of a popular tourist destination, including modern stores and a variety of eateries and bars. Situated at nearly 1,000 metres above sea level, Livingstone enjoys rather distinct seasons, with precipitation and temperature (day and night) varying from season-to-season.

Accommodation

Volunteers reside at a comfortable and secure complex, The Livingstone Backpackers, a 5-minute walk from Livingstone town centre. The hostel features a dining area, bar, swimming pool, large garden and even a rock-climbing wall. The property sleeps up to 87 people and accommodates volunteers from a few projects. Volunteers will typically reside with fellow volunteers in the distinct “Volunteer House”, however, if capacity is reached (30), groups of volunteers may be placed in the backpacker rooms.

The accommodation is mixed gender, but males and females sleep in separate rooms. Bedrooms sleep 4-8 people, with bunk beds in each room. Bed linen is provided (please bring your own towel!) and a cleaning service will attend to your room daily. The house is positioned within close walking distance to town, where you will find a wide range of amenities.

As a volunteer, you will be provided with three meals a day during the week (Monday through Friday). Breakfast is either a daily hot breakfast option or it’s on a help-yourself basis and consists of cereals, toast, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner are full meals, and will be cooked for you by the chef at the volunteer house. Weekends are free for you to explore, and as such you are free to explore your culinary options as well.

Program Fee & Dates

2 - 12 week Volunteer Program - Year Round
Application deadline is 60 days prior to commencement. Arrival dates every Monday of the month. Program fee covers first two weeks; each additional week is $439.
Program Fee A$ 2,399
OS-HELP A$ 6,665

 

Program fees include the following:
  • Volunteer project placement: Covers resources, materials, equipment and operational costs to host volunteers
  • CISaustralia support before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off (on specified program dates within designated times)
  • Accommodation – shared room, same gender, dormitory-style
  • Meals – 3 meals per day, Monday through Friday
  • Arrival orientation
  • Project transportation
  • Housekeeping service
  • Optional excursions (at additional expense) – booking and/or logistical assistance
  • 24/7 on-site support – Site Coordinators and Continent Site Director
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Health insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Police check
  • Weekend meals
  • Cost of optional excursions
  • Laundry service (available on-site for a few dollars)

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partners.

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

Adventure Awaits

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