Empowering Zambians in the New England Area
Zambians living in New England turned out in huge support in a show of ubuntu (unity) at a traditional ZANE Indaba held Saturday, February 25th, 2012 in Woburn, Massachusetts.
This first ever ZANE Indaba serves the sole purpose of bringing the Zambian community in New England to a traditional get-together, by providing a platform for old and young alike to share a community conversation over a warm meal or snack, just like in our motherland Zambia.
Acting ZANE President Mr. Kwanga Kaweza spoke briefly about ZANE’s history from its humble beginnings in the early 2000s to its current reformed state after elections in 2009. He mentioned that ZANE has had success in bringing about a sense of community but has faced challenges such as lack of leaders and participation at the community level. Mr. Kaweza then introduced a solution to the challenges, and officially launched the “Tiyende Pamodzi Challenge!” that will focus on: Solutions, Participation and Togetherness, with a goal of bringing the community closer, united and working together. “ZANE is in need of your gifts and I challenge each individual to think of what you can do for the ZANE community,” said Mr. Kaweza.
Rev. Cornelius Masuwa, ZANE Co-Spiritual Advisor acting in his capacity as Indaba Facilitator, touched on the Diaspora Desk, an initiative of the Zambian Government to avail opportunities to Zambians living abroad, that will be launched on April 21st, 2012.
Other presentations at the Indaba included: counseling and prayer services provided through ZANE’s Spiritual Desk, the introduction of ZANE committees (Men’s, Women’s, Youth, Event Coordination and Fundraising) that focus on empowerment and community involvement tailored to needs in the community, a community perspective by Connecticut Regional Director, ZANE’s Relief Fund to be used for emergencies and ZANE’s Financial Report of the last four years (2008-2011).
When it was time for the Question & Answer session, issues that arose from the community were the need for a follow up process on the land opportunity that the Zambian Government had recently availed through its various foreign missions, lack of fiscal transparency and the unjust burden of a few individuals funding ZANE events, membership, and an emergency fund.
The debate reached an impasse, especially on the lack of funds. Mr. Kaweza inspired the community to let their talk translate into action and challenged them to give membership dues right there at the Indaba.
With the community inspired, resolutions were reached that would better the community and chart the way forward for their organization; $120 annual membership due 1st half of each year beginning 2012 (January-June), member benefits, a relief fund in a fixed account separate from membership dues, fundraising for each event, periodic financial reports made available to members at the end of every fiscal quarter, and 2013 elections with all positions contested.
Total Membership raised at the ZANE Indaba was $2,685.00, a sure testament to the strength of the ZANE community. The people’s voice was ultimately heard and the concept of ubuntu, of unity, prevailed to the betterment of all.
‘ZANE – Empowering You’
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