After finishing my degree and before starting with Solid Structures, I spent 6 weeks in Zambia working with the A2Z project. A2Z is a group of students from the University of Bath who help fundraise & build new sports facilities in Zambia. Our 2017 team assisted with the construction of a netball court and changing rooms for the Mtendere Community School.
The first challenge was for us to fund raise for the trip. We were able to get sponsorship from companies including Speller Metcalfe, The Institution of Civil Engineers, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Wentworth House Partnership and Solid Structures of course.
The existing changing rooms were derelict and we found a disintegrating asbestos roof, which they had originally wanted us to recycle. Following further fundraising in the UK the roof was replaced with a new metal sheeted roof.
Our duties included encouraging PPE and site safety, promoting careers in construction with the female students and educating locals about the dangers of asbestos.
The experience gave me an eye-opening experience into the differences in construction approaches and a new heightened appreciation of the benefits of health and safety.
The construction project is facilitating the work of The Perfect Day Foundation and Volunteer in Zambia (VIZ), a UK Sport Programme which aims to establish a high quality, progressive and coordinated sports leadership development exchange programme. Ace2Zambia aim to provide much needed facilities to enable the excellent work of VIZ to continue. They aim to enhance the lives of the communities by working with local contractors as well as enable a platform for knowledge sharing.
To find out more about the program, search “ACE2Zambia”.