Volunteer Spotlight: Adam Dubbe

Welcome to the latest installment of UP Zambia’s Volunteer Spotlight Series which showcases the phenomenal volunteers that give of their time and energy to help bring freedom to Zambia's incarcerated youth. This series allows you to hear from volunteers from a wide-range of backgrounds describing their personal experience working with UP Zambia. Thanks so much to Adam Dubbe for the skills you brought to our organization and for your devotion and unique talent of connecting with the youth UP Zambia serves!

 Adam (second from the right) prepares for a science lesson with other UP Zambia staff and volunteers outside Kamwala Remand Prison.

Adam (second from the right) prepares for a science lesson with other UP Zambia staff and volunteers outside Kamwala Remand Prison.

Even before moving to Lusaka in 2015, one of my friends referred me to the Undikumbukire Project. Previously, I had done a little volunteer work in a prison but it definitely was not at the level of what I was going to do with UP Zambia. I practically had no knowledge about the justice system in Zambia; nevertheless, I had a passion to work with youth, so, UP Zambia sounded like a great way to get involved in something meaningful that benefits the local community.

Having a few years of teaching experience behind me, I figured I may as well continue teaching in the Kamwala Remand Prison during the weekly visits that UP Zambia carries out. Often the lessons would go along with whatever people decided to donate to the project, i.e. toothbrushes and toothpaste would lead to a personal hygiene lesson. Glowing star stickers? Astronomy lesson! As time went on the juveniles would request topics of their own choice, many of which being science or health lessons. Many of the juveniles demonstrate a keen interest in learning and continuing their education; however, it is very evident that the access to such materials is practically impossible within the prison.

 Adam with UP Zambia staff and volunteers outside Kamwala Remand Prison. That day, UP provided its regular educational/social/legal programs in addition to distributing 90 blankets to the juveniles housed there.

Adam with UP Zambia staff and volunteers outside Kamwala Remand Prison. That day, UP provided its regular educational/social/legal programs in addition to distributing 90 blankets to the juveniles housed there.

I would also join on trips to visit other prisons across Zambia to facilitate sporting events, like volley ball and football. On special days, such as Christmas and Zambian Independence Day the project worked with the juveniles in various prisons to make sure even their days would become memorable by celebrating and organizing games, food and performances. During my last few months with the project, I took part in a few radio episodes that were meant to educate the public about various issues with juveniles in prison and the justice system in Zambia. It was great being part of these radio programs, because I was able to hear so many different stories of people that had been confronted with the law or had family members who were facing legal challenges. I am not a lawyer, so to me a lot of legal issues were difficult to understand; nevertheless, I know that it is a flawed system that does not give sufficient support to those who are most vulnerable in our societies.

 Adam (far left) with UP Zambia volunteers delivering blankets and food donations for the babies and the juvenile girls in Kabwe Female Prison.

Adam (far left) with UP Zambia volunteers delivering blankets and food donations for the babies and the juvenile girls in Kabwe Female Prison.

Undoubtedly, one of my favorite things about the Undikumbukire Project is that it involves a very diverse group of people. Whether you are an artist, an academic or an athlete, the project will welcome you and any skill you may have. I cannot even begin to imagine all the lives that the project has impacted and changed for the better.

- Adam moved to Zambia in 2013 to work as an English teacher in a rural community in Serenje district and later shifted to Lusaka in 2015. Adam now resides in Taiwan continuing his passion in the field of education.