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Matthew's volunteering

Matthew chose to support the Bana Tandizo Foundation; a UK Registered charity which helps orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia, for his final year project. They run multiple education-orientated projects in and around Lusaka (Zambia’s Capital), focussed on empowering local communities.

What was it like completing your third-year work-based project?

Treated like a professional, I was instantly and gratefully thrown in the deep end, developing long term communication plans for the charity, through a mixture of eNewsletters, donor welcome packs and thankyou letters. This was a phenomenal opportunity to apply marketing and technology, with donor psychology; combining many areas of previous study into something that the charity can use for years to come.

This was only a small slither of the tasks and projects which I undertook during the internship. I also worked on: social media and website development, project advertisement, event management and logistics, and more. Finally, I had the opportunity to visit Zambia to see the projects first hand.

Where did you go in Zambia?

I visited five project locations out in Zambia. From the busy Bauleni compound, the most deprived area in the city; to deep in the Zambian bush where a school had been built in a farming district, to help rural Zambians obtain an education. It was stunning to see how self-sufficient all the schools were.

Funding for these areas had significantly improved the quality of life for the school children and the surrounding villages, but there is still much to do. Simple alterations, such as sanitary blocks for the schools, could make a difference, not something I had seen as a problem on the surface. Many of the food programmes were successful, but there was a clear need to extend it towards more children and others within the community. The visit inspired a sense of duty in me to become a voice for the people I met.

If I could pick one moment that stood out for me about the trip, it would be Humphrey. Humphrey is a teacher at the Life Christian School, in the Mtendere East Compound. The school is the only affordable school in the area, meaning it has a high demand to take on students. Humphrey is an inspirer. As he taught us about different religions, he gave off an aura of immense passion. Despite our disruption joining the class, all eyes were fixated on Humphrey. He wanted to involve all the children, giving them a profound sense of achievement when they answered. It amazes and even bemuses me to see someone so good at what they do, despite the barriers surrounding them.

Had you volunteered before you started the degree?

Yes, it was my volunteering experience during my final year at school that made me want to study fundraising. The difference with the Zambia visit was that I was being able to see the children benefitting from the fundraising I had developed in the prior weeks. It was a memory which I will never forget and an opportunity like no other.

Explore the BA (Hons) Charity Development page.