Celebrating Women in CSR – Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi

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 Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi, the Head of Corporate Communications, Government Relations and CSR at Airtel Zambia.

 

Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and the number of years you have been CSR practitioner.

My major role and responsibility as a CSR practitioner is to ensure that the Company I am representing is socially responsible and helping unlock the potential of the communities in which we operate. I have been a practitioner for 20 years now.

Tell us about someone or something (mentor, friend, hero, incident) who or that affected or influenced your CSR journey, and how.

I have always been intrigued by the CSR concept from the time I worked as a journalist. Having worked on the features ‘desk’ I always found it more fulfilling to write articles about how communities had been helped to change their environments or indeed been uplifted economically after interventions from companies through corporate social investment programs.

 

How has CSR/CSI evolved at your organisation?

I believe that while CSR or CSI remains the same in the real sense, it’s the focus that changes over time for any institution. For instance many years ago the focus could have been to make sure that people in the rural setting moved from having pit latrines to having flushable toilets, while now with the COVID 19 pandemic, the focus has shifted to understanding how best to help communities during these unprecedented times.

 

Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of?

I am still and am sure will be for a long time to come, extremely proud of my colleagues and co-workers at Airtel who came together during the peak of the pandemic last year and decided to contribute monies from their own salaries which enabled the company to buy over 2000 masks and over 2000 hand sanitizers which were handed over to help the Education and Health sectors.

 

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?

One major change I would make in the Industry is have more companies realise that CSR is not a competition…CSR is about people….it is about lives and the communities we all live in, therefore collaboration and partnerships should be the norm to make even greater change and impact.

 

What is the best advice you have ever received in your career?

“When you don’t agree with your boss, say it…respectfully and honestly and you will always have a better conscious than thinking ‘I should have said something’ after the fact.”

 

How can CSR activities be used to empower women?

As we know women are usually the most vulnerable in societies but the most hardworking (i hope the men won’t come after me for saying this). But in all fairness, there is an age old saying that once you educate a girl, you have educated the whole village and I think this is true with empowerment programs. I know for a fact that women have excelled much more and looked after their nuclear families and beyond when empowered. It could be through giving them seed money for agricultural projects or simply adding skills to their knowledge which could be in the form of chicken rearing, fish farming or even batik making.

 

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day is when my company does great CSR projects that not only make a difference in the communities but truly ‘changes lives’.

Celebrating Women in CSR – Lomthunzi Mbewe

As part of International Women’s Month to celebrate the achievements of women, we kick off our series to appreciate Women in CSR with an interview of Lomthunzi Mbewe, the Community and Stakeholder Relations Manager at Lubambe Copper Mine Limited.

 

Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and the number of years you have been a CSR/CSI practitioner.

I have worked in CSR for 2 years since 2019. My role is to provide leadership and oversight in Lubambe Copper Mine’s Community investments in various areas of strategic an economic interest such as – Education, Health, Agriculture (through sustainable businesses mostly in agriculture), Infrastructure Development.

I also provide oversight in ensuring we have a Social license to operate by developing stakeholder engagement initiatives, project planning and execution, my team and I also assess the comprehensive needs of various stakeholders before implementing Community programs.

Tell us about someone or something (mentor, friend, hero, incident) who or that affected or influenced your CSR journey, and how.

As you can rightly tell, I am relatively new to the CSR space. I have worked longest on the other side of the spectrum; facilitating for FDI into Zambia, and it is here in my previous life, that I took an interest in Impact Investing. I have always had a very good understanding of the many socioeconomic challenges that an average Zambian faces in their day-to-day- lacking- lacking clean water, lacking access to basic necessities, amenities, malnutrition and a whole myriad of issues we are confronted with when you step into the streets.

When the opportunity presented, I took a real leap of faith to crossover and join industry and delve into working with communities and be a part of real time impact. That is what influenced my decision- to be part of a greater cause and truly empower people out of hopelessness.

How has CSR/CSI evolved at your organization?

I would say the basic understanding of CSR has taken a whole new dimension- traditionally CSR was almost appeasement to the local community for conducting mining activities in the host area. So where before we had Corporate philanthropy- donations, donations and more donations we are now shifting into actual scrutiny of community needs and actual viability of any programs we design.

I do not believe CSR/CSI is static- it is evolutionary and it is evident at Lubambe Copper Mine because not only are we aligning programs to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are also keeping up with the whole movement on actual social investments that create value.

Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of?

I have many things that I can point at as a point of pride. But I would have to say that every time my team and I are collaborating with actual experts in various fields and domesticating programs to address community needs and we begin to note actual impact- that is always something I sit back and say “Another win!”.

I am particularly happy to have such wide networks that we are able to leverage other stakeholder strengths and continue to provide training to the communities in very important life skills such as financial literacy, conservation farming, fingerling production, leadership, and exposing them to so many other opportunities- this is also something I am particularly proud of.

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?

That’s just it. I have the POWER and I have the support to actually make changes. The Mining industry is so male dominated- the representation is for every female employee, there’s 10 times the number of men- literally. I have come into this space and I hope many more women will. Its only when we actually take the leap of faith and work alongside men as equals that any significant change can happen in the Industry.

In community work- I am happy to report that I have actually introduced deliberate and what I like to call women-centric programs. This is programs specifically tailored to be women-led. We are working with cooperatives that are led by women in so many areas so the actual change is already happening at a small scale and I am optimistic this will transcend the cooperatives and spill over into more and more women-inclusive programs.

What is the best advice you have ever received in your career?

I have had the privilege to work with very solid and good brains with many years’ experience in their particular fields. I am always receiving wise counsel from colleagues that have more work experience than I do. The best advice I have ever received is to not limit myself and my abilities.

How can CSR activities be used to empower women?

We need to develop programs that deliberately include women and not in a relegated position of support or cheerleader but in the actual formulation and working alongside men to implement. Equal benefit must also be taken into consideration, there is really no value in continuing or gatekeeping the hierarchy or patriarchy in the mining industry and as a spill over in mining communities. Every program formulated must include women equally.

Describe your perfect day.

A perfect day for me is the day I will wake up to hear we are finally over and done with COVID-19. But on another note, a perfect day is one where I can tick off everything on my to-do list as having done very well; woke up early, exercised, ate a healthy meal, drank enough water, read a book, did not complain, preserved my mental health and spoke to each member of my family.

CSRNZ Celebrates Women

The Corporate Social Responsibility Network Zambia (CSRNZ) is this month showcasing women who have played pivotal roles on the country’s CSR platform, in line with the International Women’s Month.

These are women who have exhibited exemplary commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate social investment (CSI) ideals and programmes for the improvements of livelihoods, thus contributing to sustainable development in communities. In today’s day and age, women have become unstoppable and excelling in every field possible.

Welcome to our series of interviews with Zambia’s leading female CSR practitioners, revolving around the evolvement of CSR/CSI in respective companies and the accomplishments arising thereof. Over the next 2-3 weeks, We will learn about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in CSR:

  1. Lomthunzi Mbewe – Community and Stakeholder Relations Manager, Lubambe Copper Mine Limited.
  2. Mweembe Sikaulu – Communications and Brand Manager, Zambia Airports Corporation Limited.
  3. Yuyo Nachali Kambikambi – Head of Corporate Communications, Government Relations and CSR, Airtel Zambia.
  4. Bridget Kambobe – Group PR and Corporate Affairs Manager, Trade Kings.
  5. Chanda Chime-Katongo – Public Relations, Communication and Women’s Banking / Marketing, Stanbic Bank Zambia.
  6. Wezi Njovu – Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, UBA Zambia.
  7. Katongo Chilufya – Public Relations, Communications and Corporate Social Investment Manager, Atlas Mara Bank.
  8. Sonile Lintini – Communications and Sustainability Manager, IHS Towers Limited.
  9. Sarah Banda Ortiz – Corporte Affiars and Communications Manager, Lafarge Zambia Plc.
  10. Nsanshi Art Women – Kansanshi Mine’s women-run jewellery workshop, with a mission to support and provide financial support to vulnerable women and girls in Solwezi district.

PRESS RELEASE: Mama Chungu Foundation Brings Clean Water to Mansa

A new charity called Mama Chungu Foundation commenced its first borehole drilling programme in Mansa district in Luapula Province of Zambia in late November to give rural communities access to clean water. This is one of three key aims of the new community-based organisation. It also aims to open up farming to enhance food security and local income as well as provide renewable energy for food processing, education and living.

The Foundation is inspired by the life of Mama Cecilia Chungu who lived from 1924 to 2017 in Mansa. She was married to Alexander Chungu for more than 56 years and were blessed with many children and grandchildren. Mama Chungu cared deeply about her wider family’s well-being and its future. She worked very hard to educate her children, secure food and water, and a roof over their heads. She always gave a helping hand to anyone in need, welcoming all into her village and house.

Her story is what the Foundation is all about.

Clean water is life and the first objective of the Foundation
Children and women often walk long distances to draw daily water beginning before school and other household chores or farming activities.

But where do rural communities get their daily water if not from a borehole?

The answer is from dirty ponds, rivers, and shallow wells such as this one pictured below at Patel Village where a shallow well has been dug next to a slowmoving stream. These resources are also a key source of deadly cholera and dysentery.
Mansa Municipal Council has identified 148 new boreholes required in the district and 37 are unusable and in need rehabilitation. Among these are at two schools and two clinics, which are without potable water today.

In our experience, these numbers underestimate the critical need for quality water in rural areas of Mansa.
Public sector resources and equipment are insufficient to address this burning need for clean water. NGOs and charities are essential to filling this gap.

Mama Chungu Foundation was launched to assist rural communities in Mansa. It engaged STAR WATERWELL DRILLING LTD of Kitwe to drill an initial six boreholes and install community handpumps in Munchini Village, Patel Village, Kabunda Mission and Lukangaba Village in Mansa District.

These boreholes are the first of several planned by the Foundation. What has been achieved is remarkable as the rains begin in earnest.

A high-powered board steers the Foundation in the right direction.

The Foundation has established a ten-person Board with two patrons – Paramount Chief Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people and His Excellency the former president Rupiah Banda. The other members include business people, the mayor of Mansa, a leader in Muchini village, and an Appeals Court judge.

The Foundation is registered with the Registrar of Societies of Zambia and funded as a non-profit by individual donations.

What’s next?
The rainy season 2019-20 will be spent fund raising for next year’s ambitious drilling programme that will begin in April next year. The Foundation will also lay the basis for community-based farming.


For more information contact:

David Ryder
Chairman
M: +260 965-611612

Veronica Ryder
Deputy Chair and Secretary
M: +260 969-173099