Norwegian students aim to use sport to develope rural Zambia

  • Krsitina and Benedikte

    Benedikte Ridderholt (l) and Kristina Antal of Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Livingstone

By Edwin Mbulo

A NORWEGIAN woman says she is in Zambia to utilise her sports competence to help develop Nyawa area in Zimba district.

In an interview Kristina Antal 25 from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NSSS) who is in Livingstone with her colleague Benedikte Ridderholt said she would be in Zambia for ten months until June next year to work with Response Network (RN) after being selected by the Norwegian Sports Association under the funding of the Norwegian Peace Corps.
“I chose to be taken to a rural part of Zambia and I want to learn a lot, see new places, know different cultures and get to meet new people. I also want to show my competence in my work on how sports can be used for development, especially at grassroots levels,” Antal said.

She disclosed that she will be based in Mabwa in Nyawa area over 70 kilometers north-west of Zambia.

Antal said she has three siblings’ one older sister, one younger sister and brother.

She revealed that she just like Ridderholt, was in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time but has been to Egypt before.

Antal said she was not sure of which country she was going to be sent to between, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.

And 24 year-old Benedickte Ridderholt said she wants to grow her understanding of Zambia.

“During my stay here in Zambia I want to grow as a human being. Before coming to Africa I only had the perception of the continent as given by the European media, who only showed the worst part of Africa, the media in Europe has a lot of apathy on Africa, so I want to make my own opinion and not trust media gossip,” Ridderholt said.

Being the oldest in a family of two girls Ridderholt said she was happy to be in Zambia and will be based in Nyawa village west of Zimba district under a programme being implemented by RN known as Youth Sports Exchange Programme (YSEP).

“When I was selected I just was happy because all I wanted was to come to Africa, until I heard that I was being sent to Zambia,” she said.

And RN programme officer Julius Simfunkwe said Antal and Ridderholt will be under the mentorship of Amon Kasweka who is RN sports facilitator and his deputy Annet Sonko.

“YSEP also greatly helps the volunteers in aspects of cultural exchange as they get to know our various cultural aspects and our people in the villages where they would be based get to know and understand foreign cultures and values,”   he said.

Simfunkwe added that apart from YSEP, RN which is based in Livingstone also runs other programs such as village self help programmes with the aid of the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD), Academic Works of Sweden and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

He added that the non-governmental organisation was seeking for more corporation from local and foreign institutions to be able to sustain its programmes mainly implemented in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo districts of Southern Zambia.

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