Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Our New Team - The Kitwe Service Center


As mentioned before, we work with an amazing group of people at the Kitwe Service Center. We’ll probably be mentioning them from time to time in our posts so we figured we would take the opportunity to introduce you to our new team!

Pastor Blessings Sambo – Service Center Coordinator

Towela Lungu – Service Center Coordinator

Pastor Blessings and Ma Towela share the role of Service Center Coordinator, with Pastor Blessings now transitioning into the role of community support with the Regional Support Team in Zambia. The role of the Service Center Coordinator is to coordinate, manage and lead the Service Center. Pastor Blessings and Ma Towela also have the responsibility of being our mom and dad while we’re here!

Pastor Blessings
Ma Towela, our new mom

Clement Lufupa – Field Coordinator

Clement is the field coordinator in charge of project support. Projects in the community can include the building of schools, feeding programs, managing income generating activities (IGAs), etc.

Is that Clement? Or Ray Allen? 
Mary Mulenga – Bookkeeper

As a bookkeeper, Mary is responsible for all things financial in the Service Center. This includes helping Community Based Organizations (CBOs) manage their finances and handling the cashflow.

The baby of the bunch, Mary
In the next little while, we will be bringing a new member aboard the team to be the field coordinator in charge of careworker support. We look forward to meeting him/her!

As mentioned before, the Kitwe Service Center supports 9 different communities that each have their own CBO, comprised of local individuals in the community that are committed to caring for the most vulnerable children (these people are called careworkers). In a typical week, from Monday to Thursday, the Service Center attempts to visit each of its communities at least once, whether it’s to have meetings, do home visits or assist them with certain projects. This can prove quite challenging as one of the communities (Zimba) takes 1.5 hours to get to! Fridays are usually devoted to catching up on administrative tasks in the office.

Our role for the next 6 months is to support our team and focus on building relationships with them and the careworkers. We also hope to use our respective educational backgrounds and skills to help build capacity in the Service Center and do whatever we can to assist them with their work. In the meantime, we expect to learn loads of stuff about Kitwe, the CBOs that we support, the Zambian culture and, of course, the Bemba language!

Below are some pics of our office:

View from the front entrance
Our shared desk
The team above (and every other Service Center, for that matter) is made up of individuals that began as careworkers and proved exceptional at what they do. They were born and continue to live in the community, in very similar conditions to the people we visit in the communities. On the first couple of days at the office, we noticed that they did not eat a single thing throughout the entire day. We asked them about it and we came to the sad realization that they simply cannot afford to pack a lunch. We’re talking about people that work a full-time job, solely devoted to serving and caring for the most vulnerable children in the most vulnerable communities. Hands at Work provides them with a small incentive each month but it is barely enough for them and their family to get by. We have taken to buy a loaf of bread for our team 2 or 3 times a week (there is peanut butter in the office) so that our team can at least eat something throughout the day. These people come from very little, have very little and receive very little for what they do. Despite this, they do their work with such joy and live by such incredible faith. We are truly inspired by Pastor Blessings, Ma Towela, Clement and Mary and are so blessed to work alongside them. Please pray for our team and that God would continue to bless them and do amazing things through them!


3 comments:

  1. Hi Diane and Byron,

    I came upon your blog while surfing my church's website and have been following your journey since. Keep up the good work! May God's Blessings be with you.

    Leigh from Calgary.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leigh,

      Thanks so much for checking out blog. We really appreciate your message of encouragement! Do you go to Westside Kings Church? If so, please tell everyone we say hi!

      Byron and Diane

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  2. Inspiring write-up, your co-workers have the warmest smiles! I see a resemblance to your dad, Byron, in that shared-desk pic!

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