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.

2021 World CSR Day

Zambia, on 18th Feb 2021 joined 130 other countries to commemorate the World CSR Day. The commemoration was celebrated via a virtual meeting, officiated by Director of Community Development, Mr. Cosmas Lukupulo, standing in on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and moderated by Mulemwa Moongwa. Other panelists included Denise Clarke-Reeves, the Chief of Party USAID Let’s Read project, Brian Moonga the Country Director of World Bicycle Relief and Buffalo Bicycles Zambia, as well as Lee Muzala, the Executive Director of CSR Network Zambia.

The World CSR Day was launched on 18th February, 2012 in Mumbai at Taj Lands End by His Excellency Shri. Veerappa Moily, Honourable Minister of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, who inaugurated the program.

The Objectives of the World CSR Day are:

  • To provide a common platform to the corporate, government agencies, NGOs, civil society, academics and the other groups to share their expectations, aspirations and responsibilities.
  • To bring together representatives from various parts of the globe to share their experiences, challenges and opportunities.
  • To spread the message of CSR, that which makes a difference to the community at large.

Mrs. Clarke-Reeves opened the session with a presentation of the Let’s Read Project, highlighting their work with the Ministry of General Education (MOGE) aimed at improving reading outcomes for approximately 1.4 million children in pre-primary (kindergarten) through Grade 3 in public and community schools. The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that students read with comprehension and fluency in one of Zambia’s seven official local languages of instruction. USAID Let’s Read is implemented in over half of all public primary and community schools in Zambia.

Learning to read in the early grades is the foundation for learning in all subjects. The MOGE recognizes that improving the overall quality of primary education requires improving basic reading skills in early grades. Over the past decade, reading assessments for early grades consistently show that over 70 percent of children are unable to read or write at the end of their second year of learning according to the 2014 Early Grade Reading Assessment.

Brian Moonga revealed that at the end of 2019, World Bicycle Relief (WBR) celebrated the 500,000th bicycle in the
field as part of the 1 million bicycles target. An outstanding achievement for the organization. He furthered shared on how beneficiaries are selected and how the communities benefit through transfer of skills in some individuals to offer maintenance services and repairs.

Director Lukupulo, in his keynote speech reminded the corporates on the important role they play in uplifting the lives of people in the communities they operate in. He explained that It is common practice nowadays to find commemorative or Important days that are observed in and around the world. Such days each year have a particular meaning or national or international significance. And World CSR Day is such a day, when we join other countries to remember, to celebrate and to appreciate efforts by companies in accounting for their actions and for making our communities a better place. It is also a day when we remind each other not to stop doing good, a day to encourage each other to continue being good corporate citizens.

Mr. Lukupulo stressed the fact that in the context of Community Development, we need to strive to improve access to education because through education, we will realise poverty reduction in the community, promote equality, peace and security, and ultimately reduce exploitation as education will help people to know more about their rights and responsibilities as well as the law in general.

Beene leaves home at 6.30am to ride to school on her new bike. Before she received her bike, Beene would have to begin walking the 8km to school at 4.30am in order to arrive before lessons started at 7.15am. She would arrive exhausted.

As part of CSR Network Zambia’s commitment to strengthening the CSR ecosystem in Zambia, the focus for 2021 is “Access to Education”. Education in every sense is one of the fundamental factors of development. No country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital development at all levels. Education is indispensable to economic development and Zambia needs a balanced education system if Vision 2030 is to be realised.

Through the pledge to Leave No One Behind, Zambia, like other developing countries has committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first through the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Education has been described as one of the greatest equalizers of our time , however, for rural children, education may be an equalizer but distance is a barrier! How do we work towards ensuring poverty alleviation in order to achieve the Vision 2030 and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all in line with Sustainable Development Goal number four with all its seven targets?

It against this background that CSR Network Zambia has partnered with World Bicycle Relief and Buffalo Bicycles Zambia, to increase awareness of the plight of Zambian learners in rural places across the country by providing bicycles to eliminate the challenges relating to accessing education. Having identified distance as the greatest barrier to education for those living in rural areas, giving the learner a bicycle could reduce commute time by up to 75% between home and school. In the short term, bicycles help children attend school regularly and arrive better rested. In the long term, bicycles help children complete their education, preparing them for better jobs and reducing the likelihood of extreme poverty. On average, each additional year of education a child receives increases her or his adult earnings by 10%. And for each additional year of schooling completed by young adults, the country’s poverty rate falls by 9%. Some of the highest returns of all are associated with educating girls. This being the case, education must be available to all people to enable them survive and develop to their maximum potential.

This is the basis of the project that was launched by CSR Network Zambia during the meeting – Ride-2-School Cycling Challenges. The Ride-2-School Challenge is a call to stakeholders to participate by sponsoring bicycles to be donated to learners in (five) locations across the country. CSR network Zambia, in partnership with Buffalo Bicycles Limited and World Bicycle Relief is organizing the “Ride-2-School” Bicycle Challenge in the following regions:

  1. Livingstone dubbed “The Mosi-o-Tunya Challenge” (3rd April 2021)
  2. Lusaka dubbed as “Ba Lusaka Challenge” (1st May 2021)
  3. Siavonga dubbed “The Kariba Challenge” (5th June 2021)
  4. Solwezi dubbed “The Mabanga Challenge” (Aug/Sept 2021)
  5. Chingola dubbed “The Kopala Challenge” (Nov/Dec 2021)

Participation the Cycling Challenges is open to all – individuals and organiations. Cycling is a sport with minimal participant contact and therefore will adhere to set health and safety guidelines for participants. Companies can participate by financing the bicycles. Participation in the Cycling Challenge is open to teams sponsored by corporates as well as individual cyclists.

For more details, contact the CSR Network Zambia Secretariat by sending an email to projects(a)csrzambia.org or calling +260 977 843926.

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


 

Inaugural CSR Awards

The Corporate Social Responsibility Network Zambia (CSRNZ) organised and hosted the national Responsible Businesses and CSR Awards, to recognise and honor Zambian companies implementing CSR in Zambia. Running under the theme – Shaping Responsible Businesses Towards the Attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, (Vision 2030). The awards Gala dinner was held at the Golden Peacock Hotel, along Kasangula Road, in Roma Township, on 29th November 2019.

The Guest of Honor at the awards was the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. Christopher Yaluma, represented by Director of Cooperatives, Mr. Shadreck Mungalaba.

The following companies were honored:

  1. Airtel Zambia
  2. Kashikoto Conservancy Ltd
  3. Natural Valley Ltd
  4. Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)
  5. Lubambe Copper Mines
  6. First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQML)
  7. Barrick Lumwana
  8. HLB Zambia
  9. FINCA
  10. Stanbic Zambia
  11. Ecobank
  12. Access Bank
  13. DHL Zambia
  14. Zambia Airports Corporation Ltd
  15. Zambia Railways
  16. IHS Towers
  17. Betway
  18. NECOR
  19. Cashbuild
  20. Maamba Collieries
  21. Zambia Sugar
  22. Sun FM
  23. Pick N Pay
  24. Action Aid
  25. G4S
  26. Madison Financial Services
  27. Trade Kings
  28. Tongabezi
  29. Dangote Cement
  30. Royal Air Charters
  31. Vision Care

These Annual CSR Awards are intended to be Zambia’s prestigious CSR and Sustainability accolades, recognising the contributions being made by individuals, the Private and Public sectors towards community development. Winners are mobilized from the diverse sectors and industries which have created positive impact towards Zambia’s sustainable development and the promotion of Sustainable Development Goals.

Impact Assessment is the CSR game-changer

Impact can be defined in different ways for every organisation’s CSR. One of the methods is by calculating return on investment wherein we measure the monetary value of benefits derived by the beneficiaries. The impact may also be based on the measurement of the outreach of a CSR project. For certain organisations, the impact can be defined as the actual change– social and environmental. An insight-driven method of evaluating social impact is mapping the behaviour change among the beneficiaries receiving the interventions. Assessments of impact differ as the organisations adopt their respective understanding of it.

Impact assessment has become a medium through which organisations can communicate to their key stakeholders—their implementation partners, shareholders, and board of directors about the effect of the initiatives shared with the beneficiaries.
For a CSR program to succeed, building commitment towards a singular and long-term vision of change from the key stakeholders like the board of directors is required. A committed board then directs the project towards producing a sustainable change in the lives of its beneficiaries. It is equally important to build trust among the beneficiaries. Accurate impact assessment can aid in building commitment from internal stakeholders and trust within the external stakeholders as it continues to identify the successes and limitations of the program.

In order to conduct an impact assessment that delivers on these key areas, investment to acquire expertise is imperative. It is also important to develop appropriate skill sets across the various partnerships for efficient and effective execution of a CSR project.

More often than not, CSR programs are evaluated on their investments and returns. There is a need for a shift in this approach and to capture the data on the lives impacted. This can be done using quantitative surveys with the beneficiaries and key stakeholders. These quantitative surveys can help identify the key changes we bring in through our programs. To complement these findings there is a need to understand the underlying reasons for change among the beneficiaries, which qualitative interviews can help address and build social impact stories.

Impact assessment helps the board direct the CSR funds towards its optimum utilization, where initiatives that have a maximum impact can be scaled up while programs leading to limited impact can be curtailed. For organisations implementing programmes in partnership with social organisations, it can be a useful exercise of capacity-building, where the two organisations can work closely towards achieving their common goals through the knowledge of outcomes shared by such assessments. The outcomes of these assessments can also be a way of communicating with the wider eco-system of beneficiaries who can learn about the impact and build their own agency towards addressing the community challenges. It becomes a proof-of-concept that organisations can use to build and scale their programs across geographies.

At WPP Foundation, we have defined its theory of change through a key process map which helps to direct our work towards achieving our vision through robust impact. The theory of change has identified over 20 interventions focussing on outcomes such as increasing retention in secondary schools, improving learning outcomes, enhancing work-readiness skills and addressing key social norms.

Through robust measurements, foundations can take quick and corrective decisions on regular intervals to ensure the rigour of their work in line with defined goals, as well as enables partners to build capacity to address gaps. This requires us to spend disproportionately. The positive encouragement towards this can be observed with government mandates now allowing more percentage funding towards Research & Development within CSR.


AUTHOR.
Rama A. Iyer, Director General WPP India CSR Foundation – December 7, 2019.

Director General at WPP India CSR Foundation. She is also a panel member to the World CSR Congress, nomination for ‘Expert Trainer in guiding CSR consultants develop strategies for Indian SMEs and exporters with a special focus on the European Market’. She has partnered with state-level Governments for evaluating, developing and advising in creating IEC material for interventions related to health, hygiene, gender, nutrition and skill development.