August 19

Tags

Living Well in Zambia, chapter 6: training

Live Well has a way of throwing development opportunities at me in the same way that GSK did… most recently by delivering refresher training for our community health entrepreneurs (CHE). I’d planned to observe the training, but due to staff illness, I stepped in to work with Salome, one of our sales officers, to deliver the training.

It was a bit of a challenge, as though Zambia speaks English, most people (particularly in the rural areas and compounds in which we work) speak will predominantly use their local language. They definitely felt more comfortable asking their questions through Salome in their local language, which I encouraged. We asked the CHEs to talk about their best selling products, we recapped the uses and specifics of each product. As we offer credit sales to our CHE, I talked about how they can use credit sales to grow their business. We also took time to reward and recognise our best performing CHE which was good to see. I really enjoyed the experience (all six sessions!) and I hope I managed to bring something a bit different compared to previous trainings. I got two spontaneous rounds of applause which was completely unexpected and meant a lot to me. Now I’m just hoping the encouragement turns into increased sales in the next few weeks!

Our CHE community includes some really inspirational individuals. Spending lots of time out in the field looking at operational issues as well as the recent training has given me a chance to get to know them a bit better. So I thought I’d introduce some of them and the realities of the compounds in a bit more detail.

Most of our CHEs have another source of income in addition to being a Live Well CHE. It’s very common for people to have multiple income streams, with about 80% of all Zambians working in the informal sector (cash in hand, no fixed hours). Lots of our CHE are community health volunteers or tap attendants. Others have subsistence farms, or are involved in selling other goods. Many will have different jobs throughout the year, with seasonal farming being a hugely significant factor in the Zambian economy.

Chisha is one of our tap attending CHEs, working in Chazanga compound in Lusaka. She works three hours per day supervising the government-installed bore hole tap, collecting money as people come and fill their buckets, and she earns a percentage of all the money she takes. The money is collected and taken to an office to be handed in, and the meter checked against the money paid.

 

IMG_1803

Some of the certificates I prepared for the CHE for achieving their sales targets. Presenting the certificates and small prizes was a tool I used to promote the sales targets with the team, and encourage others to aspire to improve

IMG_1857

Our lovely prizewinning CHE from Chipata and Chazanga compounds, showing off their certificates after the training. They’re an amazing bunch

IMG_1908

Phylac, one of our CHEs, proudly showing his certificate and showing off his new Live Well scarf, which was a reward for being the most improved CHE in Kanyama compound. Check out our glamorous training location… WDC stands for ‘ward development office’ which is responsible for managing an area of the compound, which are split into wards for operational management

IMG_1796

A lady from the community filling her buckets at the tap in Chazanga compound. Behind you can see the bags of charcoal which are everywhere.

IMG_1797

Chisha, one of our CHEs, supervising the tap. She collects money and ensures water isn’t wasted. Despite it being about 25 deg C, she still deemed the coat and woolly hat necessary – out of shot is me in a summer dress…

IMG_1800

Dorothy, another of our CHE, but this time in Kanyama compound. Like many of our other tap attending CHEs, she uses her time there to promote her products and make sales – you can just see the boxes of Grandpa!

IMG_1828

Roadside market in Chongwe district, which is outside of the city. Here the produce is really cheap and they deliver to your car window as you pass. I paid 80p for a huge carrier bag full of large and juicy tomatoes

IMG_1907

Rather than plastic signs here, all the advertising is painted. The quality of some is absolutely brilliant – this wall stood out particularly due to the contrast of the typical construction of the shops and homes around (though this much space isn’t typical). There is litter and dust everywhere.

IMG_1936

Typical roadside stalls in town selling the ever-present tomatoes, which are commonly grown as so cheap and easy

IMG_1633

Live Well CHE’s bag, showing some of the products they bought this week