ACCOMPLISHMENTS and PROGRESS in the PROJECT 2009
2009 was a year with challenges and blessings. The Global Economic Crisis impacted us adversely making it a very difficult year as funding for the hospital was so drastically cut back. It was also a year blessed with volunteer visits and partners engaging in renovation projects. In the midst of these conditions we continued the Development Project activities planned for 2009! Here are some highlights.
- Training Module In June 2009, we had a one day seminar for Pastors and Youth Leaders. The seminars were conducted by Jubilee Centre. The Pastors were taught by Reverend Temfwe and the topic that was taught was advocacy. 18 Pastors attended. Pastors have acquired the knowledge about advocacy and they can advocate for the less privileged in society. Local churches have started to understand the Church’s role in civil society and that they can advocate for others.
The Youth Leaders also were taught on HIV/AIDS and they had a privilege of meeting American Youth Volunteers to share experiences. The Youth Leaders have increased their knowledge on way of how to prevent themselves from HIV/AIDS as Christians.
- Training Module on Poverty reduction / Food security In September 2009, a seminar for Pastors and Church Leaders was conducted and the theme was ‘The Church’s Role in Civil Society’. This was divided into two parts; Poverty Reduction and Orphan Care and Support. We identified local teachers that can address these huge local challenges. The first part was Poverty Reduction which was taught by Reverend Kapenda who is working for Jubilee Centre and Micah Challenge. The second part was Orphan Care and Support which was taught by Agnes Sakala also working for Jubilee Centre in the area of Orphan Support and Care. This has led to people understanding their challenges and participants came up with a list of suggestions on how they can address these issue
- HIV/AIDS A recap of the previous year’s teaching on HIV/AIDS was done and some leaders said that people now talk openly about HIV/AIDS and seminars are being initiated by the local churches to talk about HIV/AIDS
- Seminars are being conducted in local churches to teach what Pastors and Church Leaders learnt and also to reach out to communities.
- Identifying New Leaders: New leaders were identified for key positions at the hospital and workshop. The new leaders are developing their leadership skill and this can be seen from the way the carry out their day to day duties.
- Purchase and Installation of Computers for hospital The hospital computerization took steps forward during the year 2009. Computers were procured for the Accounts Department, Human Resource Department, the Pharmacy and the Registry Departments, including fully licensed software. Printers and networking equipment were also purchased. This has led to an improvement in working with computers in the organization. We also have a functioning computer network and everyone in the office has access to internet. Some departments have taken advantage of the computers but others still have a way to go. We will be installing specialized software from CHAZ and the Minister of Health. This will continue in 2010
- Continued computer training for new users at hospital and Transfer of data to the new system. Computer training in Pastel (Accounting software) was done for both hospital and MBA staff. Six members of staff were trained (4 from the hospital and 2 from MBA) and the purpose was to improve the Financial Reporting System. This has led to efficient reporting. The Pastel software has been installed at MBA and it will be installed at hospital latter this year.
- Renovation of Registration and filing room at hospital The renovations were delayed a bit because we were waiting for the newly constructed Out Patients Department to open in order to give room for the renovations. The renovation of the Registry and Filing room has improved the facilities.
- Training was held for MBA team in Newsletter production and distribution, email administration, website development and website updating, and information management.
- Website was developed (You are reading it!) Much effort has been put into producing the website. When the finishing touches are put on it we hope it will serve as a tool of resource mobilization.
- The newsletter is now being produced and distributed to our partners, volunteers and other individuals by e-mail. This is now being done locally by our team in Zambia.
- Our internet domain @mpongwe.com was developed and new email accounts set up.
- A photo database was gathered from volunteers and partners and stored on our website server. This will assist us as make presentations and brochures in the years to come. Let us know if you need photos for your fundraising efforts!
- Brochure We did not succeed in completing a brochure during the year 2009 because we wanted to complete the web site where information can be extracted for the brochure. We will be working on the leaflet and putting the finishing touches on the webpage. Our partners and stakeholders will be informed when we complete these activities.
A goal of the program is: Improve networking capabilities with potential partners/donors and breaking of the isolation, in relationship with both domestic and international partners. Through networking, our relationships with partners and donors have continued to develop. We are also establishing partnership with Jubilee Centre, Zambia.
Through networking, we have established new partners and donors who have come to us with other projects and this may have shifted our focus from the project. However, we will try to balance up so that our current partners and donors don’t lose trust in us. We have also spent time on building up relations with our new partners, both local and abroad. We have had good results from our initial networking activities. Much time has been spent into communicating, building relationships and coordinating our partners’ visits to come and volunteer here. Partners and donors have continued to develop trust in MBA. The trust gained through effective reporting has led to donations and volunteer labor. Isolation has been broken by partners and donors who have visited Mpongwe.
- We have continued enjoying the relationship with our partner Interact who have sent us Step Out volunteers during the year. We also had support visits from Interact in the year 2009.
- We have also had two visits from our partners in UK who renovated the shower rooms, the toilets and the laundry room at the hospital.
- Our partners from National University of Ireland, Galway visited us and they supported us at the hospital with medicines, linen, equipment and they also built a Neo natal ward.
- Friends of Mpongwe, Sweden have embarked on a project to help us build single quarters for some of our hospital members of staff as accommodation is a big challenge for the hospital staff.
- An additional partner in the area of trainings has been added. This is Jubilee Centre, Zambia and we are looking for ways of deepening the partnership.
- A goal of the program is that the financial situation of MBA and the Hospital is improving and kept under control. The financial situation did not improve this year. It got worse due to the global economic situation. But the financial reporting system has improved. We still have big challenges for the hospital due to further reduction of more than 50% direct funding from the government which supports the hospital on monthly basis.
- The Project Secretary was recruited in January 2009 which makes the project management team complete and the Project Secretary is being trained in report writing. The work in the project has become much easier than before because secretarial duties including taking minutes during meeting are done by the Secretary. We are glad that the Project Secretary position was filled, and we have enjoyed having Esther Shiyenge on our team.
- Much effort went into preparing the application for funding for Phase 2, which includes a gender perspective.
Action plan for the rest of the project.
- Transfer of data: Several activities have to be done to finalize computerization at MBA and the hospital but it is not complete. We need to finalize training for the Pharmacy at the hospital as well prepare for computerization of HR records and Registry records. We are to finalize assess the need for data transfer. These activities will be started in early 2010 and will continue for the coming months of 2010.
- Seminars: We have identified seminars to attend and this will be done in the first half of 2010.
- Training/Networking: We have started arranging an exchange visit for the new Board Chairman and the Sister Incharge. This programme will be probably in May or June 2010.
- Mentoring: A planning meeting for mentoring will be January, 2010.
- Future leaders: The working committee will be assigned to identify candidates for the trainee programme. They will meet in January to plan for this activity.