Alker from NHQ Hope Ndola, Zambia

It is a pleasure to be in Zambia as a development instructor. From America to Africa, it’s like from one world to another. My first experience was to learn how to be patient the first day when we were supposed to have an introduction to the program and we were waiting for more than two hours.

It’s like this proverb from Sobonfu Some:  “In the tribal life, one is forced to slow down, to experience the now and commune with the earth and nature. Patience is a must; no one seems to understand the meaning of “hurry up”.”  Of course we have to be there on time to make them understand how time is development but it is Africa and I need to turn myself ingo an African. Anyway it was a challenge for the learning process to be active on my task.

To explore the new environment, I was in the village Chipulukusu where I made some investigations and planned some activities in cooperation with Ndola Hope. I was interviewing a variety of people.  I met a social worker Monica Zimca, volunteer of 30 years on the Health Board Chipulukusu clinic, she was giving me details about the situation of orphans in the area. She registered 2 orphans’ a day who had lost his/her family because of HIV and AIDS. This idea helped me in creating a youth Action Hope group with 12 youth.

I visited 5 community schools and met with the head teacher and other teachers and made a plan to organize a workshop of: “Best Practice in Teaching and Leadership across the Curriculum” for 25 teachers from 7 Chipulukusu’s community schools. None of the schools received grants from the government, they are sustained only by the students school fees and lead by community volunteers. This workshop is designed to promote a better education and future for the kids and our goal is to form a Community activist group for HIV/AIDS program and continue to receive information from the Hope Humana Project.

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Also, I met some local association which practically organize income generating activities (clothes sale ) I I made a plan to corporate with them for training and better ways of organizing each other to facilitate more productions and open the market (find stores to sell their products).    

At the same level, I have been together with the group of women Awons composed of 30 members; we made a plan to visit each house to know how we can help them. (Process in collecting information)

At a personal level, I organize the youth Club of 12 boys and we have a soccer Team football playing 3 times a week; get together for sing once a week; have a mathematic course once a week; HIV-Aids, TB and malaria course once a week. Now I sent some request for equipment for the team and we will have  our first match this coming first weekend of December. This team will be a part of the Ndola hope youth club and will act in the activities about motiving other youth about malaria in the community of Chupulukusu.

My second week, I have been working with DAAP-Lusaka on an internal impact assessment under the headline: “Strengthening the Inclusion and Influencing Capacity of Civil Society Organizations” (CSOs) working with People Living with HIV (PLWHIV) in the Central Province of Zambia in cooperation with the implementing team in kabwe, Kapiri and Mkushi. This project targets 15 CSOs working with people living with HIV (PLWHA) including:-NZP+ (Zambia Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and 150 Support Groups and also 3 government established District AIDS Task Forces (DATFs) and 15 Community AIDS Task Forces (CATFs).

For this evaluation, I have assessed the impact for the direct beneficiaries or I had discussions and structured interviews involving 4 groups of 50 beneficiaries which are people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). All of them are members of the Support Groups targeted; 15 support groups (SG) and 3 groups’ community AIDS task forces (CATF’s) in order to determine how the capacity building has improved the ability of these structures to provide services for their members (SG) and for the wider community (CATF), 3 groups of District AIDS task forces (DATFs) have been interviewed about how to improve the coordinated HIV activities in the district; interviews with 4 CSO’s (civil society organizations) represented on district level to provide services to PLHIV, interview with NZP+ networking organisations who improved provided services for PLHIV and the type of services that they are now providing as a result of the projects. I met with the youth club in Kabwe about issues on alcohol advocacy carried out to reduce the spread of HIV.

On average, my learning lessons are the base:  CSOs have increased capacity to document and disseminate project lessons and experiences for the benefit of their membership. Benefits of DATFs, CATFs, NZP+, CSOs and support systems for joint performance monitoring HIV and AIDS initiatives and programs at the community. In general they include: improved service delivery to PLHIV, transparence; effective networking, Ability to plan, reducing problems, good organization, coordination, partnership, provide evidence, implementation structure, capacity building, keeping record, provide best service on Health, indentify problems, contribute to resolving problems, create activities; able to understand their responsibilities, making democratic decisions, interpret government policies, make reports, discuss the problems, share information, organize the community jury and the dependence and independence of each of them; Furthermore, CSOs are able to provide maximum support to the people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV).

One of the most important interview I had was with a women name Nkhoma form Masansa people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHWA): she said: “I am a live because of the support group and I tell you why:  because today, the support made me feel I am a women again after staying home for 5 years when I was waiting to die, now I have my garden produce vegetable.”

Friday November 23, 2012 on the Ground Chipulukusu Basic School, together with Ndola hope, we organized a sports gala on danger of alcohol and drug among the youth, 167 youths had been on a football and netball tournament from the Hope youth and 5 Ndola communities: Chipulukusu, Nkwasi, Pamodzi, Chifubu and Kawama, a platform where youth meet, share information on the alcohol and drug affects. This event had thousands of youth on psychologically illicit activities.  

The beginning was a challenge for me here, seeing kids, youth and olds ladies in great need. At night in my bed, I would ask myself how can I help, I didn’t know how to get started. Dialogue and mutual understanding between the project leaders and Development Instructors showed the way. It is good to be here, every day I acquire some new ideas and experience. Here it is going to the village and seeing the problem with your own eyes, come up with ideas after evaluation and plan together as a team.

 

     

 

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