Where I work

November 2, 2006

1940 Building where I work

I’ve been working for a few days at my organisation now, the Youth Development Foundation (YDF). They are located in a really nice old colonial building.





Sharing a small office with one computer with another organisation, the capacity to get much done is quite limited. But then there isn’t a huge amount to do at the moment anyway. For the elections last month, YDF ran education and registration campaigns in the District in an attempt to increase turnout.


The members of YDF are all really nice, bright young people with massive potential. Two of them find out next month if they have got into the University of Zambia. Their names will be published in the paper if they were successful. The lack of study or work opportunities, has left them attempting to do something to improve their situation. And this is a common past-time in Chipata. There seem to be a limitless number of organisations working on poverty, AIDS, food security, gender…..But at the moment, most NGOs including mine don’t seem to do a massive amount.


This isn’t really surprising considering they have no money, very few resources and there isn’t a single paid member of staff.


My job for the year is to work with YDF to create sustainable sources of funding.


The most interesting schemes so far are potential income generating activities. I am looking into small-scale solar panels for use in remote rural areas and rubbish collection and recycling schemes as businesses to raise money for the activities of YDF.


It’s a bad idea trying to approach things the way you would in the UK. The logic just doesn’t translate. Instead it seems you just have to keep trying new approaches and see what works. 


2 Responses to “Where I work”

  1. Martin Says:

    Could you give an example of how UK logic doesn’t translate?

  2. – The life expectancy of Zambians is 37, but the official definition of youth is anyone under 35.

    – Most people volunteering in my office live on below $1 per day. And it isn’t that cheap to live here. But they all know how to use a flash disk. I didn’t know what one was a couple of months ago.

    – Most people in Zambia attach themselves to a Christian church, but also believe in witchcraft.

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