Melissa’s Action at Home | Supporting, connecting and developing the capacity of youth focused organisations in Zambia

Action at home is the final part of the Challenges Worldwide ICS placement. It sees a volunteer take the skills they have learned during the Challenges Worldwide ICS programme and apply them to an action that benefits their home community.

Here Melissa Sarah Hamalambo tells of her Action at Home after her placement working with Vitalite in Lusaka, Zambia during the spring of 2016.

What was the action and which town/city?

I was selected upon application to sit on the Project Accountability Team for the Queens Young Leaders Firestarter Initiative-Zambia project of 2016, being implemented by Action Aid Zambia. This was done in a bid to ensure that the project is a transparent and accessible sub-granting scheme for youth organisations in Zambia. Action Aid called on and brought together youth volunteers as part of the Project Accountability Team (PAT) to assist in overseeing the fund, its implementation, monitoring and evaluation and learning. The project, ‘This is Our Moment-Youth Changing Zambia’, is supporting, connecting and developing the capacity of youth-led and youth focused organisations in Zambia through the reactive and open small grants scheme. The scheme targeted youth organisations and initiatives aim at enabling youth to mobilise, participate, engage and be represented in decision-making processes at local and national levels and become change agents in their communities. The project is also developing the programmatic and institutional capacity of the youth-driven organisations through a holistic approach to strengthening their sustainability and impact.

How may people attended the event?

About 30

Did your Challenges Worldwide ICS experience inspire this action?


Have you done something like this before?


What did you learn during this project?

The project has introduced me to elements of project management and report writing and how to carry out a baseline study. It has also opened up my mind to how youth can better be engaged and involved in matters that affect them in their local areas by choosing to work with and engage local civic leaders.

Have you any future plans related to this project?

Yes, I do as it is an ongoing project running for the next 4 years.


How was your action Youth Led?

The project itself is run by a youthful team of action aid staff members with backup support from the project accountability team which comprises of 8 youth volunteer members among others, of which I am a member. As stated above, the project is about youth helping youth, it is youth focused and has youth involved at all stages of the project.


How did your action make a Connection?

This project came in to fill the gap and aid small start up youth organisations gain funding and grow their internal skill set through offering capacity building training, facilitation training and of course the grant funding.


How did your action Make a Change?

My action is making a change in that my willingness to involve myself in this project on a personal level is giving me experience and I have found it to be a productive way to spend my time and education and skill set to date. As I relate with the grantees as we carry out M&E, I will take steps to share experiences from my time with Challenges Worldwide ICS and impart some of the skills I learnt during the programme such as how to carry out a SWOT analysis, amongst others. The project as a whole hopes to see youth better represented at levels of decision-making in Zambia by the end of the 4 year period.


How did your action Engage Others?

“This project and action have seen the engagement of civic leaders in local areas of operation increase in that the youth organisations are now partnering with ministries and offices to aid them to carry out their activities in governance, leadership, entrepreneurship and decision-making.


Please provide detail about any media coverage you had

The project was launched and an article was done which appeared in the Daily Mail-Zambia. ActionAid Zambia and Activist Zambia Facebook pages as well covered the launch of the event.