My journey with CELIM in the last 14 years has seen me walk with the Organization through five different projects in Zambia, i.e., Community School Project 1 (Early Childhood), Community School Project 2 (Early Childhood), Prison Project 1 (Health and Education), Prison Project 2 (Education and Reintegration) and also Caring For the Youth. With diverse experience gained from the good management of the organization and professional project implementation, the journey has been worth taking. Hundreds of people helped through the projects, synergies were created and the team members, both from CELIM staff and volunteers and from the local partners became a family, in which the mutual exchange of different cultural norms and values was constant and truly precious, also and especially to the benefit of the projects and of the organization.

In the line of duty, CELIM has been a pilar of my life, seeing me growing personally with a lovely family who have been an icon of CELIM all through the years past.

Such long and impactful journey has also seen CELIM grow in Zambia, by the synergies and collaboration formed with different stakeholders and organizations, both vertically -for instance with the Government and its Ministries, as well as with UN agencies and with the Delegation of the European Union in Zambia- and horizontally, with other civil society organizations, whereby a broad and efficient network was created, with the purpose and mission of serving others through different projects and combined efforts.

My journey in CELIM has provided service to the people through our projects operating in various different areas and by many different activities, including the following:

Provision of education, recreational activities and skills to children on the move and children in conflict with the law from primary school onwards, with beneficiaries also going to college after joining our projects, or becoming talented artists;
Empowerment to people from correctional facilities and in the vulnerable communities, in order to facilitate their social reintegration and actually give them a second chance in life, breaking the stigma surrounding them;
Facilitation of access to adequate healthcare in correctional facilities as well as in schools for the beneficiaries of our projects;
Infrastructure development across the projects in the fields of education (e.g., by building schools), health (e.g., by setting up medical clinics) and skills (e.g., by building centres for the development of skills for the reintroduction on the labour market);
Creation of linkages to other stakeholders and service providers; and
Capacity-building to local organizations.

“Countless are the memories of the challenging yet successful stories that crossed my path in these 14 years, but I will always bear close to my heart the times we succeeded as a team and shared moments together”

As CELIM celebrates 70 years in Zambia, I also celebrate 14 years with the organization, and I find myself still willing to give more to CELIM in the years to come.

Endless smiles will always be on my face and on my family face thinking about the journey behind and that ahead of us.

Marcelino Kambani