Another successful visit for Headington team


Janet reports on her recent field trip to Jambiani:
I was delighted to act as liaison for ZAP with the Headington School visit again this year, to co-ordinate their visits to various ZAP projects and ensure they had plenty of time with their mentors, the Jambiani students that we sponsor in higher education.
We started with a visit to the Boarding House in Stone Town where the local students live while at 5th and 6th Form, and this proved to be a great way to introduce the girls to their counterparts. The following morning’s walking tour of Jambiani enabled them to get to know each other while the Headington girls learned much about life in a Zanzibari village.
During the 10-day visit there were regular sessions in the three Nursery Schools (pictured), always a most enjoyable if hard-working time. With a couple of classes at the Jambiani Community Academy, the girls were able to see how ZAP helps with extra English and IT classes for the villagers, and also gave them a chance to use the Internet – most welcome as web access (and electricity) was erratic as usual.
The girls soon became used to walking to the various areas of the village, though the hired bicycles were appreciated to reach the Academy at the southern end. Sadly the high tide prevented a ride back along the beach, but the girls soon became adept at finding the smoothest bit of sand – just follow the tracks made by the locals. At low tide the beach is the best highway for everyone, with the breeze from the Southern trade winds keeping us cool. It is also possible to see the village ladies hard at work at the seaweed farms, while the men sail off in their ngalawas to fish in the lagoon – everyday life in Jambiani.
During a visit to the village Clinic the Headington girls handed over to Dr Hamza a large quantity of medical supplies and knitted baby clothes and blankets. A couple of the students were able to observe the surgery in action, and were most impressed with the level of service on offer in this remote area. The whole group also visited Mnazi Moja Hospital in the city, touring the Maternity ward among others.
Afternoons provided the opportunity to interact with local children on the beach – no pressure, just time for fun and games, and maybe a swim. The day after the Headington team left, I was approached by many kids asking to play with footballs or balloons – it was so sad having to disappoint them! Free time also enabled the Headington girls to try snorkelling out on the coral reef – read the report on their blog at
Funds raised by the Headington girls are used mainly to support higher education, but following a visit to the Ladies Sewing Co-operative (for some retail therapy) and a suggestion from the visitors, ZAP has decided this year to use some of the money to provide sewing machines for use by ladies who have graduated from the classes, so they can continue to use their new skills and help support their families. We are also planning to provide internet access to the Boarding House students to help with their studies, by supplying a dongle and regular monthly allowance, to be managed by the students themselves through their elected council.
The farewell party on the last Friday was an emotional event – speeches from Janie and Mr Pandu were much appreciated, and during the excellent buffet lunch the students were able to exchange email addresses amid promises to keep in touch, just like last year’s group. Hopefully new friendships have been made which will last for a long time, and I am sure the experiences will never be forgotten!
Janet Lane
July 2011

ZANZIBAR ACTION PROJECT is a Registered Charity in the UK No. 1108030