Stephanie Chase -  2014 Program Participant

Volunteer helping locals in Africa.

Why did you decide to embark on an international program in Africa?

I always wanted to go to Africa and be actively involved with the people.

What drew you to your specific program in Zambia?

I chose the Teaching and Community project in Livingstone, Zambia because I am a teacher and I wanted to work with the children, and also experience and help out in other parts of the community.

What was your specific location like in Zambia?

The location was absolutely perfect, as it had the ideal mix of beautiful nature, from the amazing Victoria Falls to a nearby safari in Botswana, and a fun social life in the town of Livingstone.

What made African Impact’s program in Zambia unique?

The program enabled me to partake in many rewarding and unique projects throughout the community - from teaching in various community schools, including facilitating reading and math clubs and adult literacy groups, to farming and spending time with the elderly at the Old People's home.

Were the local staff helpful throughout the program?

The local staff were great. Often one of the staff would accompany us on one of the projects to help with a language barrier, especially with young children who knew their local language better than English.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I would have stayed longer than three weeks!

What was a typical day like teaching in Zambia?

I would wake up at 6:45 a.m., we would all have breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and then leave for the morning project (school) at about 7:45 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. we would be picked up from our morning project and brought back to the Backpacker's for lunch. After lunch we would have time to relax or go to the store before planning for the afternoon project. Around 1:30 p.m. we would leave for the afternoon project, and then get back around 4:30 p.m. We would have dinner and the evenings would be spent either preparing for the next day's lessons or socializing at the Backpacker's or out at a cafe.

What were some of your favorite activities in Zambia beyond teaching?

My favorite activity was the safari in Botswana and visiting Victoria Falls. It was also fun on Fridays when the Backpacker's bar had Happy Hour and we would socialize with the locals!

What were your accommodations like?

We stayed at the Backpacker's Lodge. I slept in a room with six other girls in bunk beds. There was a common living room area, kitchen, and eating area. Outside there was another eating area, a bar, and a beautiful pool. The town was very close, so we were able to easily walk there to get water, snacks, etc.

How would you say the experience as a whole has influenced you since?

This program has encouraged me to go back to Africa and do more to help others, both in Africa and in my own community.