I am Unstoppable- SAfAIDS Leadership Academy Graduate
“I live by Koffi Anani’s quote which says, you are never too young to lead and never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not”.
Bumba Malambo has become Zambia’s youngest female politician at 24, and is not stopping at anything in her quest for growth. She is a dynamic humanitarian who is a go getter, who believes her destiny is in her hands. Her quest for growth saw her applying to be part of the SAfAIDS Young People’s Leadership Academy, which she qualified for after undergoing a grueling selection process.
In my daily quest looking for opportunities, projects and trainings to better my skills in advocacy, I stumbled upon a programme under SAfAIDS for young people. I looked at the quality of the project linking youths to the cause of HIV and AIDS and my inner strength pushed me to apply. The selection process was intense, as one had to prove that they can be a leader in their communities and advance the cause of young people and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. I triumphed and was selected together with 3 other Zambians. We travelled to Zimbabwe for our first training where we also met other young leaders who were selected from other countries. That first training showed me that as a young leader, there is no limit to my goals. Prominent young people from different fields shared with us their journeys to their success, which inspired us to aim higher. After I returned to Zambia, there was instant growth in me and I got an opportunity to meet Queen Elizabeth in London at Buckingham palace. This was just the beginning of many opportunities that followed.
After graduating, SAfAIDS provided me with a grant to work with young women, which was a perfect opportunity as I was campaigning for my political seat as a Councillor for Magoba Ward in Zambia, a seat I won, making me the youngest female Councillor in the history of Zambia. I am going to continue working with SAfAIDS to change the lives of young women in my community.
A lot has changed in my life through what I learned from the SAfAIDS leadership programme. I used to struggle in balancing my life and work. One of the speakers during the training shared with us the WHEEL OF LIFE, focusing on how to balance one’s life. This was an eye opener for me as I can now allocate my time to all important aspects of my life. Aspects of self-belief, self-confidence, hard work and teamwork are traits I got from the speakers and my fellow young leaders during the trainings. I can now eloquently speak at local, regional and international forums with ease.
The experience I gained has not only benefitted me but my community as well. Through the SAfAIDS programme, I learnt how to advocate for young people’s SRH issues and have started including young people in all my projects. My leadership qualities and behaviour have inspired many young people, not only in my community, but the entire country. I believe that the world is my oyster, and the future looks bright.
I am the youngest serving member of the Ministry of Gender and Child National Coordinating Committee where I have worked with them to organise events related to children such as the International Day of the Girl Child, Day of the African Child, Children Rights Day and Child Labour Day. I am running a charity, which is registered in Zambia and Britain and am currently working on a project to stop early marriages in rural Zambia with the help of the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Education. The charity has 435 children on the sponsorship programme since its launch in March 2015.Through this charity, I have collected over 15000 clothes, toys and shoes from the University of Zambia, colleges, individuals and Radio Phoenix Helpline project which I have put in the charity shop or donated to the needy.
My humanitarian work has given me the privilege to be on great platforms like the Queen Young Leaders Advisory Panel. I was the first and youngest Zambian to win the Women4Africa Award 2015, Africa Arising Award 2015, Zambia Woman of the Year Award 2016, Mwape Peer Award 2015 and the African International Achievers Award 2014, Voice of Youth Africa Award 2013 in London, Nigeria and America respectively. I have also participated in many child advocacy platforms around the world. Due to my contribution to the Education sector in Zambia, I was selected to meet the president of Malta during the Commonwealth Youth Council meeting to seal the gap and make collaborations of youth activities between Zambia and Malta.
My charity is currently running four projects. The Mwana Apunzile sponsorship programme provides an opportunity for well-wishers to choose a child and support their education. There is also the Sewing a Future project for young mothers where they sew and make crafts that are sold locally and internationally to help raise money for them to support their children’s education. Through the traditional leaders my Charity was given land to Build a Community school, resource centre and develop a farm. The Pop a Future project empowers young people with employment.
These are just my baby steps. I am forging ahead and will be a force to reckon with all thanks to the SAfAIDS Young People Leadership Academy.
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