The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering is sending four undergraduate students to Zambia this summer as part of a wide-reaching and valuable volunteering project which you can donate to. They will be overseeing the construction of two outdoor sports courts in the country’s capital, Lusaka.
The University of Bath is one of several universities, including Loughborough and Durham, which sends students to Lusaka each year to volunteer in deprived communities. Students from other universities will be teaching in schools and coaching children in sports such as netball and volleyball.
A lasting legacy
Bath students have been taking part in the Volunteer Zambia project for the past three years, each time building valuable infrastructure, including the country’s first beach volleyball court in 2016. These permanent additions to communities throughout the capital have a huge impact on the social, physical and educational wellbeing of local young people. Although simple in appearance, a sports court provides a place for recreation, exercise, socialising and learning valuable life skills such as leadership and teamwork. The courts are also used each summer by the student sport volunteers.
The Bath student team, which is made up of three civil engineering students and one architecture student, will be responsible for all aspects of the project. These include fundraising, designing the courts, engaging contractors and managing the day-to-day construction activity. After raising all funds for travel and the construction project itself, the team will travel to Zambia for six weeks in July and August to undertake the work. They will be seeking the advice of professional civil engineers in the UK and previous Bath volunteers to ensure their court designs are durable and sustainable.
The project is largely funded by public donations, but also receives support from Wentworth House, a civil engineering consultancy, and Fielden Clegg Bradley, an architecture practice based in Bath. This year, both the University of Bath Alumni Fund and the group of universities which runs the volunteering program have pledged to match the team’s fundraising efforts up to £1,000 and £3,500 respectively.
As in previous years, the student team applied for and secured this funding themselves. The project still needs support to ensure the greatest impact for young Zambians – you can give a donation via the team’s crowdfunding page.