My first impression of my work environment and the city was “Busy”! Everything is fast pace, busy people, cars, streets noise. The people looked so busy and it’s like everybody was saying, “Get out my way, I am busy!” And here I am coming from Africa (Zambia in particular) where I think people are quite relaxed on the road.

In the midst of everything something else came up. I thought where I am going to find new friends because everything here looks so complicated. When I went back to my room I thought life will be so hard around here.

Now coming down to my travel around the city – this was another thing that made me think London is just too big for me. However, I was actually impressed with myself to have managed to find my way to the office the first few days. Now I have been here a little longer and I think London is a great city. People are not what they look on the outside; they are beautiful on the inside. I actually remembered one of those common sayings that “Never judge a book by its cover”.

Away from London city life, work is going on smoothly. I have met a good team here that has guided me well. I haven’t faced major challenges yet but am anticipating a couple of them as I go along. I believe in life we choose to either think we can do it or not. If I think something is hard, then I must be able to ask and learn. In Bemba (one of the 72 languages in Zambia) we say “Uwakanwa taluba” Which means a person with a mouth cannot get lost.

I remember chatting with a colleague the other day who said “Your progress in life will be determined by how you handle change. Change is healthy and brings new ideas”. This inspired me to think that now is the time to make some important adjustments in my life. I have to get my attitude right towards life for me to perform well. I believe that my first step towards great achievement in this internship is to have the right attitude. I need to keep my motivation levels high every time and respond to challenges positively.

I am extremely confident that I will do my best and make the most out of this exciting opportunity as a young person. I look forward to utilising my knowledge and experience as well as to enhance my personal and professional development. I am glad to be a true demonstration of what SPW’s belief in young people can do to enhance both local and global development.


A personal, professional and cultural experience is starting

My name is Chinyanta Chimba J.  I am 20 years old and a member of the Students Partnership Worldwide Ex-Volunteers Network (EVN) in Zambia.  I live in Lusaka, Zambia. Zambia is situated in the southern central part of Africa and Lusaka is the capital city.

I will be going to the UK as the SPW International Advocacy Intern and am hoping to greatly contribute to international development efforts as well as from an SPW Advocacy aspect.

Researching and reading more about Advocacy work has been the most essential part of my preparation for the trip.  But I have also been preparing my mind for the new challenges about my work and the new environment.

Going away from home always brings to mind a lot of expectations.  I anticipate successes and challenges in my line of work.  I am also excited and very expectant on the wealth of knowledge and experiences I am going to achieve as a young person working together with (SPW) London.

I believe my new experiences are going to go far beyond the borders of myself and my nation. I expect to learn a new culture, to be able to fit in and I will not want to forget the new skills that will enable me to maintain a life full of self esteem and dignity.

Finally, I count myself blessed because I have an opportunity that everybody doesn’t have and I wish to share my experiences with those that have the same opportunities as myself and those that do not have, so that we share a common goal.