Celebrating Women in CSR – Mweembe Sikaulu
As part of International Women’s Month to celebrate the achievements of women, we continue our series to appreciate Women in CSR with another interview of Mweembe Sikaulu, the Communications and Brand Manager at Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL):
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and the number of years you have been CSR practitioner.
My current role is as the Communications and Brand Manager at Zambia Airports Corporation Limited and I am responsible for internal and external communications, branding, CSR, customer service and event management to name but a few. I have been a CSR practitioner for the past six years.
Tell us about someone or something (mentor, friend, hero, incident) who or that affected or influenced your CSR journey, and how.
I’m not sure that I ever had someone or something really influence my CSR journey, though certain aspects of what I do have always been a passion of mine. Since I was a child, I have always felt the need to help others and even recall a time when I was about seven years old and would stop my mother every time we saw a homeless person as I wanted to give them money. I am just grateful to have the opportunity as an adult to do more both in my personal and professional life.
How has CSR/CSI evolved at your organisation?
CSR has evolved in our organisation as it is a lot more structured and a lot more prominent than it had been in previous years. We have a CSR policy in place which guides us on many aspects including our focus areas. We are very clear about the spaces and areas we lend our support to and even began our own CSR traditions which have proven to be a success. We also entered into partnerships with certain non-profit organisations whose objectives were aligned with ours which proved to be very successful. It has been extremely fulfilling for my team and I to be on this journey while witnessing our CSR evolution.
Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of?
I am really proud that my team and I were able to accomplish a particular objective despite circumstances beyond our control. We managed to partner with certain companies that were kind enough to come on board at the eleventh hour and help us create a special day for some very adorable underprivileged children. I will eternally be grateful to these companies and their representatives for believing in our vision and helping us make it happen.
If you had the power to make one major change at your company or in your industry, what would it be, in line with CSR?
This is a tough one! Call me a dreamer but I suppose I would approve an unlimited budget so that we could make a difference on so many levels and in so many communities around the country.
What is the best advice you have ever received in your career?
Some of the best advice I’ve heard has been from world renowned public figures as opposed to people I have met, and a couple that have stuck with me are ‘love what you do’ and ‘never stop learning’.
How can CSR activities be used to empower women?
CSR activities can be used to empower women in so many ways. From literacy and education to health to skills development, there are so many areas that if given the right tools and support, women would positively affect their communities starting with their families. They say when you empower a woman, you empower a nation, so imagine what we could accomplish if we empowered more women.
Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day would probably vary depending on my mood and what is happening in my life at that particular time. On some occasions it might be a relaxing day consisting of sleep, good food, a good book and some peace and quiet. Another instance might see my perfect day being a lot more productive and social.