The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country situated at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa, home to a population of just over 17 million inhabitants comprised of 29 main ethnic groups. Its national language is English although 23 other languages are spoken across the country regionally.
Poverty is a real issue within Zambia with an astonishing 54.5% of Zambians living below the recognised national poverty line, meaning the majority of the country’s population are suffering.
BOUT believes that possession of a trade skill is an important weapon to help break the cycle of poverty in Zambia and we aim to do this by providing young people with a sound knowledge, to an acceptable level, in a trade of their choice in order to enable them, through that trade, to be self-employed where opportunities for regular employment are rare.
Mission Medic Air (MMA)
Mission Medic Air was started in Zambia in 1966 by three doctors, with the support of Luanshya Round Table.
The original intention was to support efforts being made by the government to improve rural health facilities in the most remote parts of the country.
It is registered as a charity in Zambia and is a company limited by guarantee. There is also an English registered Trust Fund with trustees the UK. It is non-denominational and non-profit making and has relied on funding entirely by donations from the public, business and service clubs in Zambia and outside the country.
The doctors, pilots and nurses who both manage the charity and perform all services do so voluntarily in their free time. MMA started with several second hand aircraft until 1975 when they were enabled to buy a new Cessna U206 (the present and only aircraft) from funds raised by a sponsored walk.
Zambia is three times the size of Britain and still most of he population live in remote parts of the country several hours, if not days by foot away from major hospitals. Because of the distances and the reliance upon the voluntary services of doctors, pilots and nurses travel by road is impractical. So a a patients with a need for urgent hospitalisation with the plane they can be in a hospital within a couple of hours or so.
In the effort to help as many areas as possible MMA would lay down an airstrip, equip a mission hospital, arrange regular visits by doctors and nurses and supply medicines and service, MMA was stretched to its capacity therefore in order to continue its extensions it agreed with the Government Flying Doctor Service (ZFDS) to hand over each mission when it was up and running and with radio communication, supplied with the basics like beds and blankets and necessary medical equipment - sometimes even an X-Ray machine.
Dr Kenneth David Kaunda - First President of Zambia & The first Patron and enthusiastic supporter of MMA
In this way it by 1988 it had established 15 Missions - reaching yet remoter areas with the additional wing-tip fuel tanks to the aircraft.
Present Day Needs
The ZFDS collapsed so MMA is now unable to extend to other missions and is only able to service two of the 15 missions established - and there is no ZFDS to service the rest due to lack of funds and volunteers.
The aircraft needs a new engine - but immediately the engine it has is in need of an overhaul the cost of which is $45,000. MMA has raised $20,000.
The last flight was in April and it will have been the very last one, after 57 years unless not only the money for the overhaul is obtained but money for fuel for the plane and for its Zambulance
In order to service more than the two missions it has come down to it needs at least another plane and more volunteers. Just to run a two mission service costs over £100,000 each year for fuel, maintenance, medicines and insurance.
Volunteers on the ground are needed in Zambia and elsewhere to help with medical research, fund-raising and collection of items such as wheel chairs.
To see more pictures of the work that the MMA have done in Zambia, Please view the gallery below.
The below video is roughly an hour long, and documents the work of the MMA in Zambia.
The Skills Acquisition Project (SAP)
In 2017 BOUT established a partnership with Welfare Concern International Zambia in setup and run a Skills Acquisition Project (SAP) in Zambia.
Headed up by Moses Chibanda, SAP is based out of the City of Livingstone, operating on land that has been so generously donated to the WCI by the local community in the peri-urban area.
SAP's course offerings initially revolved around the art of garden cultivation and management, in partnership with Thrive of the Royal Horticultural Society.
One of the biggest obstacles in the undertaking of the project has been the ability to secure the premises necessary to deliver these new programmes. So to combat this we decided to
build the necessary premises needed to deliver these new programmes.
We aim to open the brand new skills centre in January, 2023 with an initial intake of 20 students in areas such as IT- computer skills, tailoring and horticulture. The recruitment process for the class of 2023 is well underway!
BOUT has raised funds in the UK and has contributed over £3000 towards the project so far, However we still need help in realising our plan for SAP to be Self-Sustaining within the next 3-5 years.
In 2018 the Skills Acquisition Project expanded its curriculum to also offer classes for I.T. and tailoring, two vocations that are in demand nationally and also classes that were within BOUT’s capability to deliver given the resources available. These classes brought through ringing through their first class of graduates in November. BOUT plans to further expand the SAP curriculum in the coming months with Carpentry, plumbing, shoe repairing and welding identified as the new courses to be delivered with all of the above being identified by the partnership as needed in the country.