SAM project looking for support in Quesnel

Enjoy an evening of enlightenment at Richbar Nursery

  • May. 13, 2016 4:00 p.m.

The Zambian people are friendly and welcoming despite their abject poverty and few prospects.

When I catch up with old friends, and we delve into our post-Correlieu adventures, it’s tempting to describe Africa as dodging riots, interviewing “witch doctors”, camping on the Zambezi River, flaming cars, elephant attacks and machete wielding thieves. However, these are cherry-picked stories that misrepresent my actual experience volunteering for the SAM Project in Zambia. A more honest depiction of my average day interacting with the average Zambian (subsistence farming villager) would describe endless displays of hospitality and kindness in the face of unimaginable hardship.

It may be entertaining to describe Leah Blezard’s encounter with the lethal snake in our crumbling latrine or the black widow found in Jake Rogger’s mud hut bedroom, but the fact that the community donated their best accommodation to us free of charge (and constantly offered to improve it) is what is truly worth noting. A single elephant standoff tends to outshine months of relentless waves and toothless smiles on the same road, which is especially incredible considering they’re often walking kilometres to access water, education, or healthcare. We tend to generalize a place and people by the stories that stand out, but Zambia is not just a Safari. In general, it is simply the unchosen home of an incredibly friendly people. Its exotic phenomena are rare and insignificant compared to their kindness and resilience.

The average day also entails an onslaught of cyclic moral questions: Are we actually helping? What are the repercussions of this help? Do they need help if they’re already so happy? In response to this last question, although strong, Zambians do not smile and wave at malnutrition, disease, and death. Although most are kind and good humoured, this doesn’t make the squalid conditions they endure any more acceptable. Zambians’ ability to face poverty with as much compassion and dignity as they do makes them more deserving of assistance, not less. Especially in light of the recent Fort McMurray fires, Canada’s issues are both abundant and important. I don’t intend to minimize these issues, but the SAM Project is my best opportunity with my current skillset to lessen the suffering of the less fortunate.

As for the other questions, let me say for now that I know our impact is significant and worthy of continued investment. But I actually ask that you don’t take my word for it. Instead, I invite you to Richbar Nursery on May 17 at 7 p.m. to learn more. I will describe in depth the hurdles that Zambians face and our strategies to assist them. Afterwards, I will be hosting a gallery auction of personal photographs from past projects, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to an upcoming project of the donor’s choice. Please come out to support the SAM Project, whether through a donation or purely active interest in our cause.

The SAM Project is a Quesnel-derived organization operating in Zambia. Past Quesnel residents Colin and Sandra Eves founded the organization while the majority of volunteers Leah and Cole Blezard, Jake Rogger, and Taylor Josephy are Correlieu graduates.

– submitted by Taylor Josephy

Just Posted

Quesnel Thunder played courageously but had to settle for fifth place

Despite losing five players to injury in round-robin play, Quesnel push hard in their home Tourney

Quesnel Thunder get off to a slow start in its home opener of own tournament

Speed, few turnovers and good goaltending proving to be difference in the Quesnel Bantam Rep Hockey Tournament this weekend

Quesnel Bantam Rep Hockey Tourney got off to a spirited start

Williams Lake jumped into a two-goal lead and never looked back in a 5-3

Biologist will be monitoring wildfire impacts on aqua culture and runoff

A change in runoff patterns in wildfire impacted areas could result in lakes not getting oxygenated properly

Snowy track made running very slick and slippery

Quesnel cross-country athletes dominated race and owned the podium

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Most Read