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Who We Are

Volunteer Zambia is an international volunteering programme that uses sport as a tool to engage, educate and empower thousands of young people every week in Zambia and the UK.

We aim to support the development of long-term relationships between the UK and Zambia, whilst enhancing leadership skills and sports specific developments for Zambian young people, leaders and organisations.

The programme is run by the Wallace Group – a partnership created in 2004 by several leading UK universities to support sports development for young people in Zambia. Today the partnership embraces 7 universities, UK Sport, two National Governing Bodies (Volleyball England and England Netball), our principal charity The Perfect Day Foundation, and key Zambian partner, the NGO Sport in Action.

As a group we share a commitment to the establishment and sustainable practices of International Development. The focus for the group is Zambia; working with Sport in Action to help deliver development programmes to thousands of children each week; and the Zambian government, and other sport stakeholders to support the delivery of Zambia’s strategy for sport.

Each summer, from May-September, around 100 student and staff volunteers from across the 7 UK universities come together to help deliver a series of development programmes to thousands of children. Working with Sport in Action and their key partners, the volunteers each spend 6-8 weeks in Lusaka aiming to make a significant contribution to the long term, sustainable development of young people in Zambia.

Graphic 1 - What we do


“The idea of an international sports volunteering programme was first proposed in 2004 by Peter Warburton (Dean of Experience, Durham University), as a way of engaging and bettering the sport community in Lusaka, Zambia. This led to the creation of a partnership between 6 universities in 2006, now known as the Wallace Group, funded by the UK sport IDEALS programme. In this same year, a small team of volunteers set out to build relations and volunteer alongside the Zambian NGO, Sport In Action.

The programme continued for a number of years, growing from the positive feedback from its students and subsequent funding from UK sport. In 2011, the University of St Andrews joined as the 7th university, following 2 years of working independently in Zambia.

Following 10 successful years of the UK Sport IDEALS Project, in 2017 the programme was rebranded as Volunteer Zambia. “