Action on Natural Disasters

Thank You

Making a difference in the lives of students

Alumni support has helped thousands of students make the most of the opportunities available to them at Durham, and one of the students that has been supported is Holly Jackman, who is a current undergraduate student at the College of St. Hild and St. Bede.

Thanks to alumni support through the Student Opportunities Fund, Holly was able to take part in the International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) project in Zambia. This project partners UK sport with two Zambian charities, Edusport and Sport in Action, and allowed  Holly to use her passion for sport as a way of interacting with young people in need to help develop their skills and to deliver education on HIV/AIDS, a disease which affects 1.1 million Zambians and causes more than 98,000 deaths a year. The IDEALS project also helped Holly to develop her skills in teamwork, leadership and communication as well as giving her the opportunity to coach and interact with young people from a vastly different background and culture to her own.

You can read more of Holly's amazing experience in her own words below.

Holly Jackman - IDEALS Project Zambia

"I would like to start by thanking the Students Opportunities Fund for the funding I received, allowing me to be part of such a fantastic project.

During the summer of 2016, I travelled to Lusaka, Zambia where I lived for six weeks with fellow students from other Wallace Group Universities and partook in the IDEALS project which allowed me to use my passion for using sport as a developmental tool to interact with the people who need further education on HIV and AIDs.

The experience as a whole is something I will never forget, and is something I will be eternally grateful for. I spent my mornings teaching PE at varying schools and then my afternoons coaching football with some of the most amazing, talented children in the area, ending the six week programme with the Wallace Tournament where every placement competes in the four target sports. I was also lucky enough to work with a special needs department within Chinama School; this was challenging but incredibly rewarding as I was able to interact with some of the kindest children and peer leaders in the project.

While in Zambia, I met so many amazing local people who were so grateful for the work we were doing out there. The peer leaders and Sport in Action staff I was able to work with on a day to day basis were fantastic, offering constant support and help when needed. I have been lucky enough to make some lifelong friends from both the UK and Zambia, and I am incredibly grateful for this.

My time coaching at Mtendere also gave me a great insight into the home and school life of children there. Many of the children have very little in comparison to us in the UK and to see how much joy they get from playing football was immense.

It was an unforgettable experience, that ended far too quickly and I only hope that I will get the opportunity to return to Zambia and work with the amazing peer leaders and children I was lucky enough to work with over the summer. This is a project I would recommend to anyone and everyone, and I believe it is very important that everyone gets the opportunity to experience an amazing country like Zambia."

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