Authors: Alexa James, Nick Winn, Tom Robertson and Jamie Blackler -
Who are we?
The ACE (Architecture & Civil Engineering) 2 Zambia project is a scheme run jointly by the Wallace Group of universities and the University of Bath Architecture and Civil Engineering Department.
Our mission is to provide permanent sports facilities in Zambian communities which would otherwise not have access to them. This is possible via a strong relationship with Sport In Action, an NGO in Zambia which uses sport as a tool for development.
What do we do?
The aim of the project is to construct new sports facilities or repair existing ones. Although the team are always willing to get their hands dirty, the work is carried out by Zambian contractors. A large part of the team’s job is to plan the construction, write specifications, engage contractors (and negotiate a price) and oversee the work to ensure high quality and health & safety standards are maintained.
How we do it?
The team must acquire new funding each year to pay for the construction work. For many months before the actual trip to Zambia, the team seeks funding from corporate sponsors, charitable grants and the public though fundraising events. The cost of flights and living in Zambia are separate and the team must fund these parts themselves, although of course this can be done through personal fundraising.
The construction and maintenance of sports facilities will support the sustained success of the Volunteer Zambia project which in turn will enable both Bath students and young Zambians alike to continue to benefit from the sports leadership programme. The construction projects will also address the shortage of community sports facilities in the hope of enhancing the lives of those in Lusaka. By working alongside local contractors, we hope to share knowledge and construction practices and as a team we feel that we can pass on our personal experiences from prior work on sites in the UK, particularly in aspects of health, safety and the environment.
What have we achieved?
The first team of Bath ACE students went out to Zambia in 2016, previously construction projects had been led by Northumbria University students.
2016 – At Munali and M’tendre, the dusty pitches were resurfaced to create high quality pitches. The team oversaw the construction of Zambia’s first beach volleyball court at the Olympic Youth Development Centre.
2017 - The team were able to construct a new netball court next to the existing basketball court. The changing rooms that serve the football pitch and athletics track were renovated. The team were able to perform site investigations, survey and design specifications for the reconstruction of the football pitch.
2018 – The focus was on the construction of a multi-purpose sports court (for volleyball and netball) at Chipata Community Schools. The area here is densely populated and 80% of the population live on less than a £1 a day. Therefore, Chipata Community School is a key driver for change in the area, educating the youth for better employment in the future.
2019 – We are still talking with Sport In Action about where they feel construction is most needed for continued community development. Currently they feel the most beneficial project would be a new multi-use court at the Foundation of Hope site, which is home to a community centre, school and orphanage. With additional funding provided by the Wallace Group, we also hope to help with the development of a new sports hub next to a local school by constructing a sports court.
To donate towards this year’s project, head to our crowdfunding page - https://bath.hubbub.net/p/ace2zambia/
Keep up to date with A2Z by following our social media accounts. We will be posting about our fundraising efforts and the progress of construction whilst in Zambia.