Exchange Matters / October 3, 2016

One Life-Changing IVLP Experience Makes a Difference in Zambia

The Savannah Project, a nonprofit organization based in Zambia, is motivated by the belief, “what affects humanity, affects you.” Through my wonderful and successful experience as a delegate during an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) focused on nongovernmental organizations and civic activism in the United States, I learned how to improve the operations of the Savannah Project through great ideas and new initiatives. The hope is to assist the Zambian government in addressing social, health care, and environmental issues.

During our visit, we had the opportunity to interact with CEOs and presidents of nonprofits, civic leaders, and academic program directors, which were all excellent experiences.

Some of the topics addressed during my visit throughout the U.S. included; health care, the environment, local government, innovative management techniques, social entrepreneurship, strategic planning, NGO fundraising and program activities, human rights advocacy, public management, leadership and governance, civic activism, and much more.

With a new perspective and the knowledge gained through my IVLP experience, I developed a new initiative called, “Communities of Influence” , which is designed to address issues faced by many Zambian communities. This new initiative will help the government of Zambia integrate knowledge in health care, social, and environmental factors in its approach to problem solving.

In October 2016, the Savannah Project will launch “Communities of Influence,” where we intend to invite Zambia’s first lady Esther Nyawa Lungu given her passion for community work. This new initiative will contribute to some of the Savannah Project’s other initiatives such as e4, which promotes Entrepreneurship, Exercise, Education and Environment throughout local communities.

The Savannah Project will also scale up its current programs in both schools and society through the new initiative. Many communities will benefit and many lives will be touched in Zambia through the Savannah Project’s, “Communities of Influence” just as I have been influenced by the IVLP and my American counterparts.  My experience in the IVLP gave birth to “Communities of Influence,” which will offer solutions in health care, social, entrepreneurial, and environmental areas to the communities of Zambia.  Together, let us make “Communities of Influence,” a reality through your support of its premier and following its launch in October 2016.

by Nkole Mwamba, IVLP Alum. Photo Courtesy of Nkolo Mwamba.