Try a six month print or digital Life and Work subscription

Home  >  Features  >  Youth Column: 'Friends for Life'


Youth Column: 'Friends for Life'

Youth Column: 'Friends for Life'

Monday February 14

Natasha Scotland describes a pre-pandemic visit to Zambia with the Church of Scotland Guild

Back in February/March 2020, I was given the most amazing opportunity to go to Zambia with the Church of Scotland Guild, to see and support one of its partner projects: Journeying Together: Empowering Teenage Mothers.

This project helps young single mothers with education and entrepreneurship.

There were 10 Guild members who were part of the trip in total including two youths, myself and the former NYA (National Youth Assembly) Moderator Dana McQuater. Also joining us for part of the trip was the then Moderator of the General Assembly, the Very Rev Colin Sinclair, his wife Ruth, and the rest of the Moderator’s team, who shared the first part of the journey with us before continuing with their own journeys and adventures.

We flew out, landed in Zambia, and then travelled to Lusaka. After a long day of travelling, we settled down and we were invited round to visit Keith and Ida Waddell (our Church of Scotland mission partners) for a lovely get together and the sharing of fellowship and food. On the Sunday we went to the United Church of Zambia where we met both the men and the women’s Guilds. During the service it was an absolute pleasure to witness so many youths being baptised into the church family.

On the Monday morning we travelled to the project to meet all the organisers and the girls. We were met by Mable Sichali, the organiser of the group. We then met all the girls and their lovely children. Within 10 minutes of being in their company we were dancing and singing along with everyone, it felt like we had known each other for years. After this we went out to the courtyard and played different games. As part of the trip, we took out different games and parachutes and left them with the project so they can continue with the enjoyment. Seeing the children’s faces light up with excitement was just the best feeling inside.

Throughout the week the girls travelled to where we were staying so we could do the workshops with them. As stated at the beginning, this project helps the girls with education and entrepreneurship, so that they can make different products to sell and make money for their children.

While we were there, we had different workshops which included: growing cress, making greeting cards, making hair scrunchies, cooking flavoured shortbread, creating musical instruments with empty bottles and rice, teeth brushing and a creche for the kids. The reason for these workshops was so that we could teach the girls easier life skills so that they could have more of an option of what to make and sell, also to show them about general heath with the teeth brushing. All the equipment and creche toys were left so that girls could continue the skills that they had learned, and the children could play as their mums created different things.

So much happened in the time away that I would love to speak about everything, but with such a short space, unfortunately that is all I am able to share with you all. All girls were grateful for what we gave them, and the children of the girls were the cutest I have ever seen. If I could,

 I would have brought a case of children home with myself. I have made friends for life with being part of this amazing journey.

I would like to give a massive thank you to St Ninian’s Church, Dunfermline, for giving me all the support and fundraising to help me complete this trip with the Guild

I am still willing to give talks about this trip, so if you or know of a group that would like to hear more about this trip please contact me on

If you are under 30 with a connection to the Church of Scotland, and would like to write for the youth column, please contact us on 

February's Life and Work is out now. Download for £1.99, or take out a print subscription from £2 per issue.