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Adventures in Africa 2013

Jonny Binding gives an insight into his journey to Africa...

Where were you based in Zambia? What did your average day look like and which sports/workshops were you teaching?

I was based at Fountain of Hope, Lusaka. To start with there was a fun, always unpredictable bus journey to Kamwala which took around 15 minutes, then a walk through Kamwala community to reach Fountain. My average day consisted of coaching football to the under 10 boys in the morning for an hour then eating nshima with either chicken, kapenta or pork for lunch with the people who stayed at Fountain and kids from the local community. In the afternoon I would coach football to the u12s and u15s usually together 2-4 and then travel back on the bus back to the house in Hill Top. Some days I would help my peer leaders in teaching English to the older children.

I was coaching football the majority of the time whilst I was at Fountain however I managed to set up a basketball team who competed in the Wallace tournament for the first time. I coached basketball once or twice a week in between coaching football.

What was the best and the worst thing?

The best thing? My placement! My peer leaders Stevie and Isaac were the most amazing people I have ever met. The whole atmosphere of Fountain of hope is simply incredible, the children are so happy and absolutely love their sport and most of this is down to the work of the peer leaders. Being involved with the work within Fountain everyday brought me closer to the children, listening to their experiences of life and having to leave was one of the hardest things I have done. It became obvious how many strong relationships me and my placement partner Chelsea had made with everyone at Fountain. Other than working at my placement, our trip to Livingstone was amazing. Doing the bungee jump and white water rafting down the Zambezi was something I will never forget. Painting the wall of one of the classrooms was a stressful but rewarding task we took on.

The painted wall can be seen in the background.

The worst thing? There were not many bad things although I did not like the fact because we were white, people would try and really rip you off in terms of paying for things like the bus as they would say 'you empower us'. Eating caterpillars!

Would you recommend the programme? Why?
Would you like to be involved in anymore programmes similar to this?

I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone who has the enthusiasm to work with children. I believe the challenges you are faced with develops you as a person as well as developing several skills such as confidence and the ability to be able to adapt efficiently in stressful situations. The programme is a great programme which is constantly developing and expanding into even better things.

Any funny stories/experiences that will stay with you for life?

Hanging over Victoria falls with only a guide holding my legs! Talking and experiencing a guy who called himself the animal whisperer.. believe It or not a guy that told us he could talk to animals through noises and he proved it... zebras and giraffes.. unbelievable! Being a conductor for the afternoon on a local bus, which is an old valkswagon van which would fit in around 18 people when full! Having 70 children with three balls and several cones was an experience!