Tutor returns from volunteering trip to Zambia in aid of Village Water

A tutor from Shrewsbury College has returned from Zambia where she spent the summer volunteering with African water-sanitation charity, Village Water.

Village Water helps communities learn about the importance of hygiene and how to build their own sanitation facilities, as well as providing new wells. This reduces life-threatening waterborne diseases to make communities healthier and allows children to go to school.

Sarah Hartshorn, Accounting tutor from Shrewsbury College, spent three weeks helping support the manual drilling teams to set up their own businesses so they can become viable local providers of water services to a variety of clients. Miss Hartshorn was involved in the specialist training of financial record keeping, writing a tender, marketing and reporting.

She said: “It really was a unique experience. It was very challenging and I don’t think anything can prepare you for the poverty which exists out there - I met a number or people who lived in mud huts without running water or electricity. Being able to help and share my knowledge was an extremely humbling and worthy experience.

“My first week was spent teaching the drillers business and practical skills. It was more challenging than I had expected because most of the adults I was working with had limited schooling. But the process taught me a lot about my teaching style and the importance of practical work and the need to embed employability and entrepreneurship in my teaching.

“The most humbling experience I had on the trip was during a day I was meant to teach in a primary school. When I arrived the school had closed because the teacher had to take two of the students to hospital with Malaria. The rest of the children spent the day helping with village water project. It was very special to witness children and adults working together in hard conditions for necessity and really brought home how much these villages need these sanitation facilities.”

“I definitely think my time in Zambia will have an impact on how I teach my students at the College and hopefully some of my students will consider using their business/accounting skills on similar volunteering trips in the future.”

For more information about Village Water, please visit www.villagewater.org

For more information about Accounting and Business enterprise courses at Shrewsbury College, call 01743 342411 

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