By Namukale Nanyangwe
As the saying goes, “It begins with you!”
On the 24th October 2016, Lusaka based Challenges Worldwide ICS volunteers met to present to one another how they intend to impact the enterprises in which they are placed.
Four weeks into the placement, Challenges worldwide- ICS volunteers met with a panel of guests to share ideas on how they intend to economically and socially impact the enterprises in which they work. The enterprises under discussion included African Ceramics, Bookworld ltd, Kapenda Mabula Natural products ltd-Luano Honey, Waster Master, BDSA and Recyclemania. All these are some of the emerging SMEs in Zambia`s capital, Lusaka.
Challenges Worldwide ICS
Challenges Worldwide, is an organisation based in Edinburgh and works with SMEs around the world to help them grow. With the help of volunteers from the UK and across Africa, Challenges Worldwide is working as part of the UK Government funded ICS programme (International Citizen Service). Challenges Worldwide ICS currently operates in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. The ICS slogan “challenge yourself to change your world” has inspired over 20,000 young people to join the ICS programme. To date over 300 volunteers have chosen to be part of the Challenges Worldwide team, working hard to create the change that they wish to see. The work starts with SMEs as they are the backbone of the African economies that Challenges work in.
Beyond the impact that is projected towards the SMEs, volunteers on the programme experience a 12-week placement with a multidimensional group of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and experience personal and professional development.
Developing Presentation Skills
On this day, all the 16 volunteers of the Lusaka team met to share information about their enterprises. Evidently, there has been transformation, from just learning about the SMEs and how to make them grow, to implementing the earlier acquired knowledge and to developing self-confidence to go out there and challenge ourselves on how we can better change our world.
“Initially, during assessment over a month ago, I could not stand in front, composed and present something that would reflect my passion for development, but today, I did!” said Likando Muyangana.
At the end of it all, every volunteer will have learnt some skills that would help them be the change they want to see. Functioning together as a team to find better solutions for the SMEs has been a great experience so far, and 24th October presentations helped each one learn something; we`ll look back years from now, acknowledging how through Challenges worldwide ICS programme we were helped to find our passion for development and be part of the process to help others develop even as we develop personally.