Talking with the Impact Team: What I Learned and What I Gained

Over the past several weeks, I have been fortunate enough to speak with some members of the team at Impact Network. I spoke with Hope Zimba, our Education Program Officer in Sinda-Petauke; Lweendo Maanya, our Head of Operations in Katete; Karly Southworth, our Director of Operations; and Felicia Dahlquist, the Director of Academics and Evaluation.

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Hope studied at The University of Zambia, where she earned her degree in arts with education. At university, she studied the motivations of students in the classroom. Hope is inspired by the progress that she sees within the students. Hope believes that “we are reaching so many students, and with the education that we are providing, they will grow up to become better people in society.

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Lweendo enjoys working with community members and developing relationships with the PTA – Parent Teachers Association. This gives him the chance to engage with our parents and involve them in various school projects. Lweendo measures his value as ensuring that inventory within the schools is up to par so that learning is not interrupted by a lack of resources or broken technology. Education is important to Lweendo because he feels as if it is the duty of the educated to share their wealth of knowledge.

Karly is inspired by seeing the progress of the team in Zambia and seeing them take more initiative as the organization grows. I discussed my background and interests, my mission work and interest in helping people, along with my uncertainty regarding my career path. Karly assured me that I will take many different paths before I find what works. She also advised me to not settle and that I should always strive for more, whether that be education, experience, travel, or simply inspiration.

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Felicia is inspired when a teacher, student, or staff member understands something that he or she has been trying to make sense of. She described these instances as “lightbulb moments.” Felicia enjoys witnessing the development in knowledge and know-how of her team members. She also appreciates digging into our data, and seeing what level of progress our schools are making and how much reach our teachers are having.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Although this may be a challenging ideology to live by, the Zambian team succeeds in doing things that are unexpected with a vigorous passion! It’s inspiring to watch, and I’m here for the journey.

 -Julia