Serving Southern Africa is perhaps TASIS’s longest-running service group. Started by Howard Stickley over a decade ago, the group has spent between two and three weeks annually in Zambia and Botswana.
The trip begins in Livingstone, Zambia. The group stays at a hotel which helps subsidize an orphanage, where TASIS students organize an art workshop for the children. The group takes a cycle tour of Livingstone which supports a local pre-school, where TASIS students hold workshops, supply food, and entertain the children with games and songs. They also attend a dinner made by a local woman who is saving to put her daughter through college.
The next stop is Mwandi, a rural village two hours from Livingstone, where the group builds mudhuts for homeless elderly people who look after orphaned children.
Zambia is a country experiencing a high rate of deforestation, and TASIS students plant trees to raise environmental awareness and to increase food security. They also build solar stoves as an alternative to wood consumption.
The trip ends with a safari in Botswana, run by a local company owned by the first black Botswanan to own a safari company. This man is also the first black president of the Botswana guide association, and in this role he is pushing for greater local involvement in eco-tourism.
View a number of images from the TASIS Spring Break trip to Southern Africa below. More images can be viewed in their TASIS SmugMug gallery.
"The culture is loving, welcoming and kind. Going on this trip may not transform you into a perfect person, but I promise that it will lend you a new pair of eyes."
"The trip to Zambia allows you to broaden the definition of 'service’. Once you realize how impactful your presence can be in a person's life, you will feel this eternal urge to serve.”
"Can you say that you've built a house, been soaking wet at Victoria Falls, danced Zambian dances, bought children food at a market, or made food for an entire school? No? Well, you could, and you should have the privilege to do all these things."
"The whole experience has made me feel more inclined to serve others in the future. Even though building the house was very difficult, I have learned that it is very important to put effort into helping others."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We directly helped some and indirectly helped others. It is important to spread awareness of being environmentally-friendly (like planting trees and building solar stoves). Our service was enough especially since now the 13 of us have been exposed to an entirely different world."