Supporting the people behind development in Africa and making a difference

These are some of the people who have devoted their lives to community development work and who deserve your support.

Read about their motivation and learning from experiences working with ICAs and other local organisations, and about how important the support of such organisations is to their communities.

 

 

Henry

Henry Akley

Henry Akley

Henry Akley works for ICA Ghana, where he is a programme officer. Born in Hohoe in South Eastern Ghana, for the past eleven years Henry has worked with groups and communities, helping them to plan their future activities and training them on the skills they need to develop and grow.

What motivates you in your work?

I am motivated by the human factor. The self-help groups I work with have become empowered with higher standard of living. This makes me happy and hopeful.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Rural development is sustainable when people are guided to develop their own plans and gain experience in participatory learning activities.

 

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

In terms of welfare, a wide gap exists between the rural communities and the urban dwellers. Without the intervention of rural workers who empower community members to take their destiny into their own hands, their woes would have deepened.

Maureen

Maureen Nandawula

Maureen Nandawula

Maureen Nandawula is a District Community Development Officer who also volunteers with ICA Uganda. She has worked in the field for 10 years, and works at the community level to plan and implement programmes, train communities and raise awareness on gender issues and social protection.

What motivates you in your work?

My greatest motivation is when I achieve intended objectives and goals, but more especially when people’s lives change because of what I do.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Communities are dynamic. This dynamism is a great tool for social change if well utilised. When people are involved in their own change process, they are more likely to embrace it and own it. Otherwise they alienate themselves from “your” programme and no change will take place. Community learning\change is a slow process

 

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

Social workers are change agents. They create awareness and mobilise communities to live better lives. Without this role, many communities will continue to lag behind in development because there will be little or no participation changing their lives, even where resources are available.

Marsline

marsaline-rashayi

Marsline Rashayi

Marsline Rashayi has been working with ICA Zimbabwe since 2002. Born in Masvingo, her work involves disseminating information on HIV/AIDS, training trainers and providing counselling and support.

What motivates you in your work?

I always want to contribute to the development of my community and I keep myself busy by speaking and encouraging people with HIV/AIDS that there is hope. I have managed to encourage people to go for Voluntary Testing and Counselling (VCT) and more than 100 have disclosed their status to their families which has helped reduce stigma. In addition there has been formation of 9 support groups with a total of 90 members.

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Interaction helps knowing people better and creates a friendship and trust and helps people to disclose. It might take time but never give up.

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

More people will die out of ignorance and denial; orphans will increase and there will be an increase in sexual abuse among vulnerable children.

Adufu

Yawo Gator Adufu

Yawo Gator Adufu

Yawo Gator Adufu has been working in community development since 2001, and now works with ICA Togo, both as Director and as a front line worker. As part of the recent HIV/AIDS programme Adufu has been training HIV/AIDS peer educators, as well as linking environmental issues to rural economic activities, and writing proposals to access further funding.

What motivates you in your work?

My main source of motivation is the current state of poverty in rural communities and my belief that we are able to reduce it.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

From my experience, I learnt that development is a long process and it takes times. I found also that poverty is reality and education is the major weapon to combat it. People are telling themselves that they are poor and they believe it. They consider poverty as their destiny. So, before African communities meet development, they need to be educated. The idea of poverty must be removed out of their minds through education.

 

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

In Togo, if there is no NGO, no people like me, there will be a catastrophe. The state will be worse than the current situation. Thousands of children will not attend schools in remote areas; the status of women will not be improved. We give assistance to people in areas government officials cannot go with their cars, we support people in places where government members do not know…

Kassimou

Kassimou_Issotina

Kassimou Issotina

Kassimou Issotina is the Executive Director of Lambassa ICA Benin and has been working with Lambassa since its inception in 2004. Born in Ouaké in Benin, his work includes project management, proposal writing, managing external relations and attending national and international workshops and meetings.

What motivates you in your work?

When I was student, my dream was to be useful to grassroots communities in my life and now it becomes reality. My main satisfaction with ICA is the introduction of ToP methodologies in Benin. This technology is much appreciated here.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Many things have been learnt by me with ICA Benin. Now I have the confirmation that rural communities are often neglected by politicians in Africa and prefer to collaborate with NGOs.

 

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

Without the great work done by NGOs and volunteers in Africa, politicians and rich people will continue to live in comfortable situations in towns when those in villages die with hunger and sickness.

Cristobel

Cristobel_Chitambala

Cristobel Chitambala

Cristobel Chitambala was born in Kabwe in the Central Province of Zambia and has been working with the Organisation for the Promotion of Meaningful Development through Active Participation (OPAD) for the past four years. Cristobel manages the Munga Women’s Empowerment project, facilitating self-help group formation for business enterprises among 600 women; working with 200 PLWHA promoting business initiatives and Voluntary Counselling and Testing; supporting them in conducting value chain analysis on processed vegetables, mushrooms and fruit products so that they understand where there are market opportunities.

What motivates you in your work?

The positive response by the women has been a major motivating factor. So far £2,083 has been raised by the women through their own group savings. The number of businesses done by women has also grown tremendously. Women say they are now able to take their children to school and rely less on men for meeting basic expenditure needs. Some have cell phones now and others have bought small animals such as goats and chickens. When it comes to HIV/AIDS I have seen that there are more people coming in the open about their status. The community is no longer just sitting back and experiencing the situation. They are taking steps to make sure that those who are positive are assisted and those who are not remain safe.
I believe that being honest and respecting each person’s view is important. I therefore never underestimate the level of local knowledge available. My role is to build on what the people that I work with already know.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

I have learned that finally development is about people. That people are also a part of everything around them. So that as we are advocating for growth and development we also have to factor in all the other things that directly or indirectly relate to man in his environment. I have also learned that when local women put their minds together to do something they usually do very well most of the times better than the men.

 

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

First and foremost I’m working with very poor women who have lost hope about everything. Through my work, I bring back hope to the hopeless. I revive their hope and future. Now most of these women boast of being independent and of meeting basic expenditure needs. A number of these women now travel outside their communities for trade, something that they could never have dreamt about in the past. Without people like me these people would never have been reached and would have remained in their state of hopelessness and despair. Today they not only do business but are also able to challenge the status quo where men have more access to resources than women.

Owolola

Owolola_Olatunji

Owolola Olatunji

Owolola Olatunji has been working in community development for the past thirty years. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Owolola works with the Nigerian Integrated Rural Accelerated Development Organisation (NIRADO) where he facilitates planning events for villages and communities and trains facilitators.

What motivates you in your work?

My beliefs and values as to equality of living for all mankind. The joyous mood of the community (local people) when reporting what could be seen as little accomplishments.

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Local people are capable of achieving victories and accomplishments if properly guided in planning and required motivation is given as supports from the other three sectors [public, private, voluntary/community]

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

There would be stagnation in national development, urban chaos as people drift in from villages and food insecurity

Richard

Richard_Kirya

Richard Kirya

Richard Kirya is the Director of the Safe Neighbourhood Community Foundation (SNCF) in Budaka, Eastern Uganda. With ten years experience in the field, Richard leads the team of community facilitators, as well as training them in participatory approaches. He also trains community members on subjects such as HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation and savings and credit management.

What motivates you in your work?

To see the poor revive hope and work to improve their lives. A community living in harmony among themselves and nature. Practicing justice for all people without discrimination in gender, race, religion etc. To empower people to determine their future

 

What have you learnt from your experiences?

Sustainable development can only be achieved when the people effectively participate in the development process

If people like you weren’t working in the villages and communities of Africa, what would happen?

Many people would still be going without basic necessities of life: enough food to eat, clean water for drinking, suffering from preventable diseases. There would be no one to interpret the written word (English) from the books to practice. Communities would be living in despair and without hope. There would be an increase in basic human rights abuse, ignorance, and poverty.
 

 

 

Village Volunteers in action

Read the results of recent grants of £1,500 to Lambassa ICA Benin (pdf) and how £3,000 enabled four participants from ICA Zimbabwe, ICA South Africa, ICA Tanzania and OPAD, Zambia to attend a workshop on Resource Mobilisation (pdf) in Zambia. In 2010 Village Volunteers contributed £3,000 towards the development of a participatory strategic plan for Safe Neighbourhood Foundation in Uganda.

 

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