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Alumni blog: From volleyball to volunteering

Chanda and the Bucknell volleyball team. 

Building carts for the COP transportation project. 

Meeting with Chief Singani, with a finished cart! 

The goal of COP is to aid the transportation of farm produce and other commodities, from rural to urban areas. 
8 October 2014

Zambian alumnus, Chanda Singoyi, graduated from Pestalozzi in 2013 and has since flourished, through university study and volunteering projects...

My name is Chanda Singoyi and I am from Zambia. I am in my sophomore year at Bucknell University and it’s been a great time of my life so far. I finally declared my major in Civil engineering and a minor in Economics. Besides academics, I play volleyball in the men’s team and at times, club soccer with fellow students, faculty and professors. In this semester, I am an editor for a magazine called the Bison Spectrum, which gives me the chance to meet a lot of students around campus, and from different parts of the world. 

Prior to attending Pestalozzi, I went to Mukasa Seminary School (High School) in Choma, Southern Province of Zambia. There, I received a quality education but I was not certain of my further education. This was due to difficulties with financial support. However in an unpredictable circumstance, Pestalozzi cracked through, providing me with the opportunity to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma whilst living in a multi-cultural community, comprising of individuals from all around the world. It was at Pestalozzi that I got to undertake volunteering and other activities, from teaching younger students at a local school, to being involved in fundraising for the Rotaract Club. 

I came to fully understand the impact of Pestalozzi education of the Head, Heart and Hands when I attended my freshman year at Bucknell. It all started when I, with two of my fellow Bucknellians, won the $10,000, Davis Peace Fellowship Prize to execute a project in Cameroon. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the project was later relocated to Zambia. We established the group that we named, ‘Cycling Out Poverty’, (COP) and the goal of COP is to aid the transportation of farm produce and other commodities, from rural to urban areas. We thus provide households with bikes and carts to achieve this aim. In addition, COP provides an opportunity for people to have better access to healthcare, education and clean water close to the village.

I got to work with an amazing group of people on this project. The volunteer work I was involved in each summer whilst a student at Pestalozzi gave me the right mindset to carry out a venture of this intensity in Zambia. Pestalozzi’s ethos of educating the Head, Heart and Hands, instilled in me a drive to undertake and establish COP. I was also able to work with David Mtonga, who is another, recent, Pestalozzi alumnus. He has been a great and valuable asset to the COP team and he immensely contributed to the success and establishment of this project in Zambia. Working with him further filled me with the conviction in the good work that Pestalozzi stands for.  

In doing this project, I had an opportunity to work closely with my home community and doing something that had a huge positive impact in my community was very fulfilling to me. I worked in Chief Singani Village; a place I grew up in, where all commodities are transported to the urban market on the heads, or backs, for long distances. 

I am deeply thankful to Pestalozzi and their dedicated donors, who made sure I received great care and an edifying education; For that I will forever be grateful.  The nurturing and the motivation I received at Pestalozzi gave me an uplifting morale to courageously, charitably and willingly, undertake any challenge. I feel more able to be of help to my community, even in later times to come. Thank you to Pestalozzi and to donors, who by their incessant generosity, made it possible for me to experience the foundation of my life. Thank you.

Read about what fellow Zambian alumni (2014), David Mtonga and Nkole Chisanga have been up to since leaving Pestalozzi.

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