EPUT staff strengthening partnerships and knowledge exchange in Zimbabwe
Two of our staff members are sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise with mental health professionals in Zimbabwe.
They will join the Zimbabwe Life Project (ZLP) alongside other NHS and healthcare professionals and travel to Harare on 29 October to volunteer for the programme, which will encompass shared learning workshops across different mental health institutes in the country.
This visit was initially approved by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe back in 2018, where the volunteers ran workshops and visited wards. They also took donations of medical equipment and clothing from various organisations which were gladly received by four hospitals, a rehabilitation centre and a prison health unit.
Zimbabwe-born Practice Development Lead Nurse Lucia Vambe founded the project in 2018 and is travelling with Dr Fiona Nolan, Clinical Professor of Mental Health Nursing at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), for the week-long stay.
Fiona has an honorary appointment with EPUT and is Chair of the ZLP Board of Trustees.
Lucia said: “I am so passionate about this project and really love to go back to my home country and share my knowledge and skills and describe how we do things here in the UK.
“It’s such a great opportunity to learn from them as well. They are always so welcoming and we hope to keep supporting Zimbabwe.”
During the visit Lucia and Fiona will attend workshops, service visits and meetings with key personnel. The workshops will take place over 2 days and around 60 healthcare professionals working in mental health services across Zimbabwe are expected to attend.
The trip will also comprise a prison visit and meetings with university staff to discuss further collaboration around research and knowledge exchange, with the aim of strengthening partnerships between EPUT, ARU and Zimbabwean institutions.
The Zimbabwe Life Project has the support of the NHS and volunteers have been given approval to wear the NHS logo on their T-shirts. However, associated costs are not funded by the NHS. The volunteers are funding themselves, including flights, hotels, travel insurance, vaccinations and all associated costs. They have also taken annual leave to cover the full period of the trip.
Watch this video to hear Lucia explaining a bit more about her nursing journey and Zimbabwe Life Project as part of our Black History Month celebrations.