written by Karen Earthrowl
I have always felt strongly about helping worthwhile causes and those in need, so when the opportunity came around for me to volunteer at Shine Zambia Reading Academy I jumped at the chance. I travelled to Zambia in November 2010 to meet up with Vineet to spend a week as a volunteer, teaching basic maths and reading to the children.
I was able to raise funds through the company I work for (YPC Group) to help supply a large amount of equipment for Shine to assist with their teaching programmes – items such as stage reading books, story books, chalks, pencils, colouring books, A4 white boards and maths exercise books.
I had the most amazing time spent with the teachers and children, and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. All the children were very inquisitive and asked me a lot of questions about my time in London and my home in Australia. I spent one afternoon helping a class write pen pal letters to a group of children in the UK. It was really fascinating learning about the children’s lives and the interesting questions they wanted to ask their pen pals.
One of the teachers, Lyson, took me for a walk through the Kalikliki compound to meet some of the children’s families. The families were all very thankful for the opportunities that Shine has given their children. The families of some of the children from the academy invited me in to see their homes.
I feel absolutely privileged to be part of such a worthwhile cause, and I hope that doing this will now encourage more people to also help in any way they can. Thank you Vineet, all the friendly teachers and children, and everyone else at Shine for giving me such an amazing week. I hope to come back and visit you all soon.