By Natalia Benitez, Poverty Activist team August 2023 - getting ready for departure to Youth in Action project, Ndola, Zambia in January 2024!
THINGS I NEED FOR THE PROJECT IN AFRICA
Traveling to Africa as a volunteer can be an enriching experience, but it is important to prepare properly. Here are essential things I will take with me:
1) Personal hygiene items and basic medical supplies:
• Insect repellent and mosquito nets to protect against insect-borne diseases such as malaria.
• Sunscreen: The sun in Africa can be intense, and it is best to be protected from the damage that ultraviolet rays can cause.
• Basic medications: Carry a first aid kit that includes pain relief, bandages and disinfectants. Anti-diarrheal and rehydrating medications, as changes in diet and water can affect the digestive system.
2) Appropriate clothing:
• Light, breathable clothing for hot weather. Make sure it is modest and respectful of the local culture.
• Rain gear and extra layers for possible sudden weather changes.
• Comfortable and durable footwear, especially for walking on uneven terrain.
3) Volunteer Work Supplies:
Different Materials: Necessary tools and supplies that can contribute to the project and the community. Teaching materials, books, school supplies and toys.
4) Essential Survival and Comfort Items:
• Flashlight and extra batteries, as power outages are common in some areas.
• Plug adapter to charge electronic devices.
• A canteen or reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
5) Mate: Like a good Argentinian, I can never miss Mate, so I must make sure I bring enough Yerba to last my entire stay in Africa.
It is also essential to educate myself about the local culture and customs, as well as learn some basic phrases in the local language. The key is to be aware of the specific conditions of the place we are going and prepare accordingly.