International Feminist Camp March 13-22, 2015: Zambia!

If this sounds awesome to you, email us to let us know you’re interested!

Who should consider International Feminist Camp? Undergraduates, graduates, professors and other practitioners and theorists of women’s studies who are interested in deepening their understanding and knowledge of global feminism. In Zambia, we will interrogate issues of both local and global importance. As with all Soapbox Feminist Camps, the emphasis will be:
A.) Gathering information
B.) Experiencing feminism in practice
C.) Deep networking among the assembled group.

Why Zambia? Zambia is the ideal center to explore themes of feminism, development, and eco-feminism in contemporary Africa. Located at the crossroads between Southern and East Africa, Zambia is one of the safest and most welcoming countries in Africa. While it is one of the poorest countries on the continent, it is one of the most politically stable. With over 70 languages and ethnic groups, Zambia is an excellent example of tribal harmony and religious cohesion. Zambia also features some of Africa’s best wildlife reserves and is home to the magnificent Victoria Falls.

We will specifically engage in activities and discussions that challenge our assumptions and deepen our thinking on issues, including:

  • Gender roles
  • The impact of traditional African culture on feminism and vice versa.
  • Sustainability (global and local)
  • Environmental and wildlife management
  • Ethnic identity

Our qualifications: Soapbox, Inc. is an organization at the forefront of feminist thought,  activism, and leadership. For this debut international trip, Soapbox will partner with Explore, a well-known African travel company endorsed by Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic, Town & Country, and Travel & Leisure, among others. With over 15 years of experience, Explore has the knowledge and connections to deliver a transformative educational experience.

Soapbox founders Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner will lead this trip, facilitating conversations, lectures and networking throughout. This will be Amy’s third trip to Zambia and her seventh trip to Africa. In their diverse work as as filmmakers, writers, teachers, and activists, Amy and Jennifer are leading experts in contemporary feminist issues. Known for their ability to make feminism tangible and for employing an intersectional approach, Amy and Jennifer have two decades of experience developing and implementing feminist programming.

Cherri Briggs, President and CEO of Explore, who has lived in Zambia for more than 5 years, will be our key on the ground host. She spearheaded the Lower Zambezi Conservation Trust community development and wildlife conservation projects in the Lower Zambezi region.

Katie McDonough, also of Explore, holds a Master of Arts degree in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute.  Katie has experience designing educational programs in Africa and Latin America and has worked as a community development volunteer in the Lower Zambezi.

Program Description: In alignment with the goals and values of Soapbox, Inc. we envision a 17-day program to provide an in-depth experience for participants to explore the program themes while engaging collaboratively with Zambian women.  Open dialogue, challenging activities, and collaborative work will facilitate a thoughtful and authentic experience for participants.

Curriculum: Soapbox, Inc. will work closely with Explore, Inc. to set goals and objectives for each portion of the program. Local experts in relevant fields will be brought in to provide instruction and expertise on program topics.

APROXIMATE COST:

$4,750 per person (based on a minimum of 10 Soapbox, Inc. participants)

Includes: All ground and air transportation in Zambia; all accommodation, all meals, limited bottled water, activities as stated in proposal, project fees, park fees for game viewing activities.

Excludes: International airfare, most alcoholic beverages, additional activities, souvenirs, insurance, vaccinations, and passport fees. Estimated at an additional $2,000.

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TRIP OVERVIEW

 ORIENTATION:

Lusaka |Eureka Camp | 3 nights

Welcome to Zambia!  Upon landing in Lusaka, Zambia, participants will spend this time getting to know one another as well as the group leaders and the facilitator. Accommodation is in comfortable stone chalets located in a quiet and safe area outside of the city center.

Days are spent exploring Lusaka; Zambia’s capital city. Visits to both private and public schools will give participants the opportunity to experience the division of classes within Zambia and to engage with students their own age.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND AFRICAN CULTURE:

Tikondane | Katete | 2 nights

Tikondane is a community center run for and by the people of Katete.  It has a thriving community school and adult education program as well as various income generating activities such as the garden and skill training initiatives.

Tikondane Community Center was registered as a CBO (Community Based Organization, a small version of an NGO) in Lusaka in July l999. It is a grassroots venture started by Zambians who adopted the mission of fighting the poverty in Katete through education, especially targeting women.

Activities here include:

  • Participation in educational trainings
  • Visits to income-generating projects such (weaving, baking, carpentry, soap making)
  • Participation in the construction of a traditional village home
  • Visit a township market
  • Witness a girls initiation dance
  • Attend a church service (optional and subject to this being a Sunday)
  • Visit a hospital
  • Witness a traditional Zambian “ghost dance”

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT:

Mfuwe | South Luangwa National Park | 4 nights

Mfuwe is a populated community on the edge of the world renowned South Luangwa National Park. The South Luangwa National Park, located in the eastern part of the country, covers an area of 3,500 square miles. It is renowned for its unspoiled beauty and its varied habitats which support one of Africa’s richest concentrations of game and birdlife. Over 50 species of large mammal and some 400 species of bird thrive in this last haven of wild Africa. Here, students will see large elephant herds of up to 50 individuals, an abundant number of buffalo, fourteen antelope species and Thornicroft’s giraffe, unique to this valley. This area is also known for its healthy population of leopard and lion. The meandering Luangwa River with its many ox-bow lagoons and shady ebony groves forms the eastern boundary of the Park while the western horizon is dominated by the spectacular Muchinga escarpment, rising almost a kilometer from the valley floor.

The next 4 days are spent in workshops with game scouts, park wardens, and safari guides, exploring the park and learning about human/wildlife conflicts and wildlife management strategies in the region. Visits to community organizations such as Tribal Textiles, the Elephant Orphanage Project, and a number of local schools will be arranged. A primary focus here is the work of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which works with over 500 local farmers in peanut butter and honey production. Participants also have some free time to take game drives in the park where they find all the magnificent animals of Africa.

FEMINISM AND CONSERVATION:

WildTracks| Lower Zambezi Region | 4 nights

The Lower Zambezi region is an outstanding example of how local communities and wildlife are embattled in one of Africa’s greatest conflicts; for territory and subsistence. Program activities will focus on community needs: health care, education, and food resources. Visits to the local clinic, schools, farms, and women’s organizations provide students with an overview of the community. Students have the opportunity to engage with the women of Chiawa, sharing meals with them, and working alongside them on various projects and activities.

The Soapbox, Inc. participants invite selected women from the Chiawa community to stay with them at WildTracks where activities will include team building activities (fishing, bush walks, baobab climbing, etc).  Participants would be split up into mixed groups (Soapbox participants & women from Chiawa), and negotiate activities together, thus breaking down the boundaries that the two very different groups come together with.  Secondly, the time is spent engaging in discussions and games around themes in environmental education, sustainability, climate change, and ideas for building better social and ecological justice.  The intention is that by both groups staying at Wildtracks together and working together through the physical team building activities and discussion, we can create an equal and safe space through which ideas and experiences can then be shared, without disempowering or idealizing the local context the complexities of lived realities.

Leisure activities such as canoeing safaris and sandbar picnics are included.

CONSERVATION AND ADVENTURE:

Conservation Lower Zambezi | Lower Zambezi Region | 3 nights

After 4 days at WildTracks, students travel by boat to Conservation Lower Zambezi headquarters, a basic riverside camp on the banks of the Zambezi River. Here, students have 3 days to relax and explore the surrounding wilderness. This area is home to the magnificent wild animals of Africa, with plenty of elephants, hippo, crocodiles, lions, leopards, antelopes, zebras, and warthogs. Students have the opportunity to take game drives in the park to see the animals, explore the river by canoe or motor boat, go fishing, and take guided game walks with an armed ranger. The primary focus here is wildlife conservation and management as well as some well deserved rest and relaxation. During this time, local experts will meet with the students to discuss key conservation issues.

As always, please contact us with questions!