At the end of March, four long-term supporters of Transaid embarked on a self-funded trip to Zambia to visit our projects, meet our partners and learn more about what Transaid is doing to transform lives through safe, available and sustainable transport.
Mike Daly, Transaid Ambassador and Clipper Non-Executive Director; Chris Dolby, Head of Talent development at XPO Logistics; Martin Port, Founder and CEO of BigChange; and Alan Thornton, Commercial Director of W H Malcolm, were joined by Freelance Journalist Ian Norwell, and were welcomed to Zambia by Transaid’s Chief Executive, Caroline Barber, Corporate Partnerships Officer, Jade Ashby, and Project Manager, Victor Simfukwe.
Martin Port explained the rationale of organising such a trip: “BigChange are a corporate partner of Transaid and as part of our close ties with the charity I decided I wanted to view all the great work the organisation does to save lives in Zambia.”
Together, the group made the 14 hour round trip from Lusaka to Serenje, where Transaid is working alongside a consortium of partners and the Zambian Ministry of Health to tackle severe malaria in children aged under six years old, by improving access to a new World Health Organisation (WHO) approved drug, rectal artesunate (RAS).
In Serenje, the group were able to meet with a range of stakeholders: the District Health Management Team, local health facility staff, community health volunteers, emergency transport scheme (bicycle ambulance) riders, traditional leaders, and community members, including families whose children have survived severe malaria thanks to timely access to RAS and the injectable form of artesunate.
“It was truly humbling, touching and extremely powerful to see the impact that the work is having on the people living in very remote and hard to reach communities,” commented Chris Dolby.
On returning to Lusaka, the group were introduced to Transaid’s road safety and professional driver training programme, delivered in partnership with the Industrial Training Centre (ITC). Here, they were invited to celebrate the formal handover of a training vehicle, donated by W H Malcolm, alongside all ITC staff, board members, students, trainers and the Zambian Ministry.
“W H Malcolm is delighted to be able to donate a truck to the ITC. Personally, I have been overwhelmed by the response from everyone at the ITC and feel privileged that this vehicle will have a positive impact on road safety in Zambia, reducing the number of incidents on the roads.”
Transaid’s corporate partners are crucial to our work. Without their support, whether that is financial, the donation of vehicles, the secondment of staff overseas or providing guidance, Transaid would struggle to achieve everything it does. We are delighted that some of our supporters were able to see our work on the ground.