VOLUNTEER WITH AFRICA HOPE FUND: A MESSAGE FROM BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER, DEBBY LOTT

68469826_2553864241344265_5938104066985951232_n.jpg

In June I had the privilege of taking 14 intrepid travelers to Mfuwe, Zambia for the first Africa Hope Fund volunteer trip. It was a dream come true for me!

After traveling halfway round the world, we arrived at Marula Lodge, where we were welcomed with a cold drink and an orientation telling us how to be safe in the company of the elephants, the hippos, and the baboons that can often be found on the grounds. We enjoyed our first dinner together and then got settled in our nicely appointed ensuite chalets. The Waterhouse family who run the lodge are amazing and we all loved getting to know the entire staff over the next two weeks. They are friendly, gracious and so much fun.  They worked tirelessly to make sure our stay was exceptional.

For the next two weeks, we spent our days volunteering at two AHF-supported libraries where we taught lessons, played games, sang, danced and shared our lives with local school children. The libraries, which were founded by Jenny Waterhouse, are impressive. They are colorful, inviting and are filled with books, puzzles, games, art and other items that most of the local children would never have access to otherwise. The students are incredibly eager to come to the library to learn to speak and read English and often just wanted to spend time talking to us. Our volunteers were also thrilled to work with the amazingly energetic and devoted reading assistants who staff the libraries and work so hard to improve the lives of children every day.

13418871_1113333265397377_5869148917893843091_n.jpg

During the evenings and weekends, we went on game drives in South Luangwa Park. Our expert guides made sure we saw lions, leopards, zebra, giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, wild dogs, and many of the hundreds of birds that call the park home.  The wildlife sightings were phenomenal, and we all have the photos to prove it.

Throughout our visit, we also had ample time to schedule additional game drives or a luxury spa experience. We swam in the pool, bicycled to the village, sat by the river, shopped, read, or just enjoyed the moment.

Your participation in our next volunteer trip will help support Africa Hope Fund’s ongoing conservation and education efforts in Zambia. As you will read in the testimonials below, this trip offers more than just the opportunity to see the sights. When you travel and volunteer with African Hope Fund you will make a lasting contribution to the lives of the children and families in Mfuwe while participating in a life-changing experience of your own. Please join us!

11222646_914185975312108_4071203078174675534_n.jpg

 From Linda McElroy – June, 2018

“This was one of the richest volunteer experiences I’ve ever had.  Besides being well organized, the hospitality of Marula Lodge and the local villagers was special.  I enjoyed doing something I’d never done before, teaching! Being with the kids and bonding with the teaching assistants hired by Africa Hope Fund was amazing.  And the game drives! Wow. Nothing like I’ve experienced before. Such diversity of life. Thank you for such a memorable experience.“

From Carolyn Wadman – June, 2018

“Friends have asked me if I felt safe in Zambia. My answer is "Yes!  I never felt unsafe."  Even with the beautiful wild animals passing through the lodge grounds. My time there sped by much too quickly!  I recommend this for anyone who wants to learn about, experience, and, at the same time, serve others in this beautiful environment.“   

From Christine Boutin – June,2018

“I’m so grateful to Africa Hope Fund and their partner agencies in Zambia. Because of the excellent work they have done for conservation and education I have the privilege as a volunteer to just show up and plug-in. It was so easy to volunteer in the schools, especially for someone who has never taught children outside of my own family. The programs and supplies and local Reading Assistants were all in place. All I had to do was show up with a willing spirit. The children are so easy to be with; their innocence and purity make it a delight to work with them.  And getting to go on game drives on the weekends and evenings was spectacular. The animal sightings were beyond anything I imagined and a privilege to see natures beauty at its best. It’s a trip that’s worth every penny.”  

Debbie Lott, Director - An AHF board member for 2 years, Debby volunteered for 2 months at the Uyoba Library in Mfuwe, Zambia. After seeing her impact, she wanted to continue making a difference with AHF.

Carol Van Brugen