A group of nine Transaid corporate partners and ambassadors have returned from a self-funded visit to the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Zambia, to see for themselves the value of Transaid’s work and the transport challenges faced across sub-Saharan Africa.

Transaid’s local partners showed visitors the driver training facility in full operation, including the fleet of HGV, PSV and forklift truck training vehicles donated by UK firms. This included a 2006 Alexander Dennis single-decker bus supplied by Go-Ahead London earlier this year.

The corporate partners had the opportunity to speak to the ITC team about the many road safety challenges they face and how the ITC, with Transaid’s support, is committed to providing high-quality driver training. 

Andrew Malcolm, CEO from The Malcolm Group, said: “Ever since we became a corporate member in 2014, I’ve wanted to see Transaid’s projects firsthand – and it was a visit I will never forget. 

“Seeing how the Volvo truck we donated has enabled the ITC to start offering long-distance driver training, along with the commitment of the trainers at the ITC and the enthusiasm of the drivers being trained, was humbling. It reinforced why we’re so proud to support everything Transaid does.”

Members and ambassadors also travelled 330 miles by road to Chitambo District, for a visit to one of communities supported by the MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) project, which is working to tackle cases of severe malaria in children under six years old. 

During the visit, two mothers spoke about how the project helped save their children, and community health volunteers demonstrated how they use singing and acting to educate others on the danger signs of severe malaria in the communities. As part of the demonstration, the community acted out a play that showed the dangers of not treating severe malaria and explained that danger signs like fitting combined with high fever need immediate medical attention rather than traditional remedies.

Florence Bearman, Head of Fundraising at Transaid, says: “This was a wonderful opportunity for supporters to see our work first hand, as well as motivating for our partners and the communities we are helping to see the wider interest in these projects. 

“We are thoroughly grateful to the many people who gave our group such a warm welcome at every stage of their visit. Trips like this are hugely important as they allow supporters to see why we are so committed to transforming lives through safe, available and sustainable transport. We visited just one community while we were in Chitambo District, but the project is now working in 355 communities in total – and the transport and logistics industry has had a huge impact on this.”

In addition to Andrew Malcolm, visitors making the trip included Shane Brennan and Tim Moran from the Cold Chain Federation, Richard Burnett from the Road Haulage Association, Martin Dean from the Go-Ahead Group, Kelly Hobson from Ligentia, Roger Turnbull from MAN Truck & Bus UK, Steve Hobson from Motor Transport and Ben Colson, a retired bus operator.

Transaid has partnered with Development Data, DAI Global Health, Disacare, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to provide strategic support to National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) for scaling up the MAM Against Malaria programme in Zambia.

Transaid has also partnered with the ITC for more than 10 years to support the development of improved professional driver training standards for professional drivers.

For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.