Polly Boasman, Thirteen’s senior finance business partner for project and planning has recently returned from a two-week trip to Zambia where she volunteered her time and expertise with Undikumbukire Project (UP) – Zambia.
UP – Zambia is a charity that provides legal representation and social support to young people in conflict with the law.
The charity started by providing basics like toiletries and blankets to young people in prison. This evolved over time as the young people were keen to have a voice and not to be forgotten. Undikumbukire, which actually translates as ‘remember me’ now has several legal interns who provide advocacy services to those young people who cannot afford legal representation or defend themselves in court.
Recently, UP Zambia have been awarded a €600k grant from the EU to partner with another Zambian charity to provide all important social support to young people, particularly on release to help break the cycle of crime.
Polly was matched with the charity through Accountanting for International Development (www.afid.org.uk) who place finance specialists in charities around the world for projects that last between two weeks to 12 months.
Reflecting on her time in Zambia, Polly said:
“This was a life-changing experience, and I learnt so much.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for me to give my time and expertise in accountancy to a project that makes a huge difference to the lives of young people in Zambia.
“It was a busy two weeks and I was involved in reviewing the charity’s 2018 accounts, liaising with the auditors for the charity’s very first audit, advising them on the financial implications of the EU grant funding and making recommendations on their financial systems.
“Although my time in Zambia flew by, there was a little bit of time for fun too and I’ll never forget getting up close to the most beautiful and majestic elephants on safari or visiting Victoria Falls.”