Volunteer Zambia is a unique international sport programme run by the Wallace Group – a collaboration between leading UK ‘sport’ universities – to primarily support and work with the leading Zambian sports NGO, Sport in Action.
The Wallace Group was formed in 2004 and today comprises eight of the top ‘sport’ universities from the United Kingdom.
Sport in Action is Zambia’s leading sports non-governmental organisation (NGO) who seek to improve people’s quality of life through sport and recreational activities.
The Volunteer Zambia Foundation, formerly The Perfect Day Foundation, is the recognised charity of the Wallace Group and was established in 2008 by alumni of the original UK Sport IDEALS project.
Over the years the Wallace Group have collectively developed a number of strong relationships with key external stakeholders and partners, both in Zambia and the UK.
“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.
This initial sports volunteering programme continued for a number of years, growing from the positive feedback from its students and subsequent funding from UK Sport and the London 2012 legacy program through its sport charitable arm, International Inspirations.
In 2011, the University of St Andrews joined the group, following 2 years working independently in Zambia with Sport in Action.
In 2017, the University of Edinburgh joined the group, whilst Bath University withdrew from our sport development work to enable them to concentrate on a parallel, and complimentary programme, focussing on the development and construction of sustainable community sports facilities in Zambia.
Following 12 successful years of the UK Sport IDEALS Project, the programme was rebranded as Volunteer Zambia in 2017. “