Adventure 2017: Zambia

Our Adventure 2017 campaign is gathering speed – and more and more children are getting the chance to enjoy a fully-funded day out on Exodus, to appreciate more of their world. They get to enjoy similar experiences to those we offer you, our travellers. Here, we share a report from one of our recent excursions in Zambia.

The girls from Maamba, relaxing on the shores of Lake Kariba The girls from Maamba, relaxing on the shores of Lake Kariba

Maamba Safe House is a boarding facility in rural Zambia, supported by Exodus' charity partner Baraka Community Partnerships. Its purpose is to protect and educate vulnerable young women, many of them orphans, from the Sinazongwe district, in the south of a country not exactly known for its progressive attitude towards women. In Zambia as a whole, barely 1 in 7 women finish education to grade 12. Without facilities like this, these young ladies’ lives and prospects would look very different.

Two of the young women currently living at Maamba Two of the young women currently living at Maamba

For the 14 young women, aged between 17 and 20, this was an incredible experience. It was a chance to escape their chores, a break from the ordinary and just be themselves rather than a daughter or a student. Especially for the newest arrivals at the safe house, it was a chance to bond with the other women there and have the time and space to get to know each other outside of the house or school.

The girls, relaxing by the pool The girls, relaxing by the pool

Leaving Maamba, the group headed out for 30km to the shores of Lake Kariba – a huge natural landmark, and yet for many of these girls they had no idea it even existed, let alone have visited. At the lakeside they were treated to lunch, drinks, game viewing and a short tailoring workshop at Kariba South Primary’s award-winning Tailoring Centre. This community start-up has been hugely successful since it was set up in 2013, supported by Exodus’ charity partner Baraka Community Partnerships amongst others. It made sense to use the success of the tailoring centre to inspire the girls, and give the centre a chance to show off its many skills and achievements.

Learning how to make sanitary pads at the workshop - a practical but invaluable lesson Learning how to make sanitary pads at the workshop - a practical but invaluable lesson

There, they attended a Girls Sanitation Workshop where they learned how to make re-usable, eco-friendly sanitary wear. This may not seem like an exciting day out activity to us, but simple hygiene issues like this often prevent girls in Zambia from going to school. Without a way to deal with this, young Zambian women are often forced to skip school, meaning every month they lose out several days of their education. Addressing this simple thing empowers these women more than seems possible. So whilst it may not seem as exciting as the time spent on the lakeshore, in the long term it represents huge change in their lives. We spoke to Graventy, one of the young women living in the Maamba Safe House who went on the excursion.

Graventy Kaniini Graventy Kaniini

“It was the best day and we learnt so many things, especially at the centre. I never knew that the lake was there and that it was so beautiful. It is now very easy for me to understand what they talk about it at school or when the teachers tell us about Lake Kariba and Zambia’s other natural wonders. It was so very beautiful. I now want to see Victoria Falls! I know now that Zambia has lots to see!”

Victoria Falls taken on a slow shutter speed Victoria Falls - now on Graventy's bucket list

Lillian, the matron of the Maamba Safe House, was equally thrilled. “It was such a wonderful day for us and we were so excited to be picked to participate. Many of the girls had never seen the lake before but it is important that they know about Zambia’s wildlife and natural beauty. Thank you so much and god bless you all.”

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