In July I was able to spend three weeks in Ndola. It was a wonderful time with many new experiences and great memories.
On weekends I visited the St. Anthony's Orphanage, while during the week I attended Mackenzie Community School on a daily basis. At the school I felt a warm welcome and was immediately integrated into the daily routine. Together with the students in grades two to four I started a reading project: each child got 10 minutes of dedicated time each day to go outside and practice their letters and reading skills.
While at first I was a little bit skeptical whether the students would actually participate in this project, I was soon excited to find out that the children thought this a great and helpful idea and often almost argued about who would be next in line for their reading sessions.
While initially in particular the 3rd grade children had some reading difficulties, I was happy to note that even after only three and a half weeks noticeable improvements became visible.
At the beginning of my visit it was often hard for me to come to terms with the difficult and challenging conditions within which many of the children grow up. This, in turn, led to the question here and there whether what I was trying to do really helped them in the end? But the rapid progress in their reading skills and their laughing and thankful faces during play time convinced me that even such a short stay was not without its purpose and benefit.
Even now, after my return home, I still think a lot about my time in Zambia and the many wonderful people I was able and allowed to meet and get to know while there. Especially the local family , my neighbors in the volunteer home, have become close 'family' for me. I truly was given the feeling to be part of them from day one on forward.
I am very thankful and appreciate iChange giving me this opportunity. I am certain that soon I will be on my way to Ndola again.