Determined to Develop would like to welcome two new full time staff members. Ruth and Forbes both joined D2D at the end of 2016. Ruth is a graduate of the University of Livingstonia with a degree in development studies. Previous to graduation, Ruth also did her capstone attachment / internship with D2D in 2015. Forbes is a recent graduate with a diploma in agriculture from Mwimba College of Agriculture.
Because our largest cornerstone, education, was growing by leaps and bounds, Ruth has been hired to split the work formerly covered in totality by Geoff Mzembe.
Geoff has now taken formal responsibilities as manager of Boarding School and Live in Youth. In this role, Geoff is responsible for all students at boarding schools sponsored by D2D (100+ boys and girls). Further, as the only full time live-in residential counselor, Geoff is in charge of the residential home on Maji Zuwa’s campus which houses more than 60 live in boys. He is a full time parent ensuring structure, order and support are all available 24/7. It’s a job with a lot of responsibilities and a lot of off-hours work. But Geoff says he enjoys being the support person for youth who have become like younger brothers that he is helping to raise.
Ruth has taken over the portfolio of secondary school education as manager of our School Fees Sponsorship Program. In this role, she oversees more than 500 youth attending our local secondary (high) schools in our catchment area of Chilumba. To make as few students as possible fall through the cracks, Ruth conducts follow up visits, one-on-one counselling, and maintains close relationships with all teachers and administration of our local schools. She links in with other NGOs and village heads to maintain positive collaboration so that we help those who are the most in need and maximize our efforts. She is the staff member who receives applications for school fees support, which means that when a new school year or school term is starting, she puts in long hours for the lines which are sometimes having hundreds of kids who want a chance at education.
Forbes is now leading our Health & Nutrition and Environment cornerstones. As part of his responsibilities, Forbes manages our feeding programs in both our nursery and primary (elementary) schools where D2D supports mother’s groups in feeding over 3,000 children each day. Forbes also manages D2D’s livestock, like our chickens and goats, which are kept for eggs and meat.
Within the Environment cornerstone, Forbes manages a huge reforestation program in which D2D has a tree nursery and trees are planted and distributed in the villages in order to overcome deforestation in Chilumba area. He is also managing a tree afforestation program at the new high school site, with the goal of planting 100,000 trees by the end of the project.
With Geoff leading Boarding and Residential Youth, Ponelo in charge of our Women’s Programs, Ruth on our Education Support, and Forbes covering Health & Nutrition and our Environmental programs, we feel like we are on a great path to success! We are very excited about these two joining our full time team!