Friday, 2 September 2016

Buumba Malambo: Young Councillor, Award Winning Social Worker

Buumba with one of her many awards
By Paul Shalala

Since the election of Members of Parliament, Mayors, Council Chairpersons and Councillors two weeks ago, this blogger is profiling a number of youths and females with unique attributes who were elected to lead for the next five years.

A week ago, this blog profiled newly elected Patriotic Front Kalulushi Member of Parliament Kampamba Mulenga who is the only female among the 22 newly elected lawmakers on the Copperbelt.

Today, this blogger is profiling newly elected Magoba Ward Councillor Buumba Malambo, an award winning social worker and women’s rights activist.

25 year old Buumba was elected on the UPND ticket and is the only female among the 16 Councillors in Kafue District.

Who is Buumba Malambo?

Buumba was born on June 10, 1991 and she grew up in the mining town of Mufulira on the Copperbelt.

She went to various schools in the town and later enrolled at the University of Zambia where she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Social work in 2014.

She has also acquired other education qualifications in the UK and the USA.

A staunch Seventh-Day Adventist who has taken leadership positions in the Youth Department over the years, Buumba still considers herself a committed Christian.

She is not yet married but ‘is in a relationship.’

Some pupils at Magoba School who received her donations
Charity work

Buumba says she started charity work at the tender age of 15 and she has not looked back at giving back to the community.

“At the age of 15 i was already involved in charity work with the Judith Chikonde Foundation and participated in the maize distribution project where I was donating maize meal to the people of Mupambe village during the typhoid outbreak in 2007. I was even appointed Mufulira Youth Secretary by the then Mufulira Town Clerk from 2008 to 2010” said Buumba in an online interview.

When she was studying for her degree in social work, Buumba chose to do her rural experience in Magoba ward of Kafue, an area which any student would refuse to live in.

“I chose Magoba because I wanted to meet real people. I wanted to learn their way of life,” said Buumba in one of her Facebook statuses.

And this is how she developed interest in Magoba to an extent were she would set up an organisation to help the women and children and later stand for elections as a Councillor.

She says her work in the community does not just involve local people only but government as well.

Some women beneficiaries of Buumbalambo Foundation
“Am the youngest serving member of the Ministry of Gender and Child National Co-ordinating Committee. Over the years, I have worked with the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to organise events related to children such as the International Day of the Girl Child, Day of the African Child, Children Rights Day and Child Labour Day.

My Charity Buumbalambo Foudation is currently working on a project to stop early marriages in rural Zambia with the help of the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and the Ministry of General Education.”

According to details on her Facebook page, Buumbalambo Foundation is registered both in Zambia and Britain and has enrolled 435 children on its sponsorship programme since she launched the project in March 2015.

Through her charity, she has collected over 15,000 clothes, toys and shoes from the University of Zambia, colleges, individuals and Radio Phoenix Helpline project which she put in her charity shop and donated to the needy.

Some donations have also come from places like the United Kingdom, Australia and some South American countries.

Buumba meets Queen Elizabeth II in London
Awards and Recognitions

In early 2016, Buumba was selected by the US State Department to be among 42 young Zambian young leaders to take part in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship, a six weeks training in professional courses at various American universities.

The fellowship is championed by President Barack Obama under his Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which brings 1,000 young African leaders annually to the US to study Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Engagement, Energy and Public Management.

However, a month before she was to leave for the US, Buumba was informed that the opposition UPND had adopted her as its candidate for the Magoba ward election in the August 11 general elections.

She decided to choose politics and withdrew from the fellowship.

Her selection in the fellowship was on the basis of her community work and the recognition she has received over the years.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is not the only recognition she has received from a world leader.

In June 2015, she was invited to Buckingham Palace in London by the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Young Leaders Advisory Panel.

The following are some of the local and international awards she has won over the years: the first and youngest Zambian to win the Women4Africa Award (2015), Africa Arising Award (2015), Zambia Woman of the Year Award (2016), Mwape Peer Award (2015), the African International Achievers Award (2014), Zambia Woman of the Year (2016) and Voice of Youth Africa Award (2013).

She also adds: “Due to my contribution to the Education sector in Zambia, I was selected to meet the President of Malta during the Commonwealth Youth Council meeting to seal the gap and make collaborations of youth activities between Zambia and Malta. I was also selected to represent the youths during the visit of International Labour Organisation Director General Guy Rider’s first ever visit t to Zambia"

Buumba sensitising women about PMTCT
Buumbalambo Foundation

Buumba is passionate about women, their well being and children.

She runs Buumbalambo Foundation, an organisation which champions the rights of women and empowers school going children with clothes, schools books and beddings.

The charity has four projects currently running:
  1.  Mwana Apunzile sponsorship programme where people choose a child and support their education.
  2. Sewing a future project for young mothers where they sew and make crafts that are sold locally and internationally to help raise money for them to support their children’s education.
  3.  Through the help of traditional leaders, Buumbalambo Foundation was given land to build a community school, a resource centre and develop a farm in Gelemiya Village where children walk several kilometres to the nearest school.
  4.  The farm project which will assist in food production as some children in the areas she is working in die of hunger.
  5. Pop A Future project where young people are empowered with employment through skills, ICT and popcorn machines.
Buumba Foundation, with funding from SAFAIDS is running a four months project called BREAK THE TABOO aimed at curbing the rampant levels of deaths among children born with HIV.
The project is training mothers in Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV.
In June when the project was launched, this is what Buumba said: “ A woman is the heart of a community. On Saturday i launched my 4 months ''Break the taboo'' access to PMTCT services project with a two days training attended by 150 women from 6 villages in my ward Magoba sponsored by SAfAIDS”

She says when she realized that many women in the area had less or no knowledge on PMTCT and sometimes shun important health service because of local beliefs like taboos, she wrote a project proposal to SAfAIDS who gave her a grant to run the project.

Buumba The Politician
Buumba campaigning in July 

At 24, Buumba is a young politician.
She entered politics at a tender age and seems to be inspired by several local female politicians.
On her Facebook page, she has photos with several former Ministers like Dora Siliya, Sylvia Masebo, Professor Nkandu Luo and several others she has shared platforms with on issues of gender and children.
Earlier this year, Buumba travelled to Ghana to attend the African Young Women in Politics Conference which was held at the west African country’s House of Parliament.
She describes the deliberations at the event as successful and inspiration.
She also talks of her delight to have been given the honour to tour the Ghanaian Parliament.
With her recent involvement in the general elections, Buumba seems to have gone through what other women face in politics.

Writing on Facebook recently, she complained of the stereotypes that women in politics usually face.
Buumba with former Energy Minister Dora Siliya

“I was not shocked when i was called a prostitute and all sorts of names……. From time in memorial, I have seen how women who have stepped up the ladder of leadership are victimised,” she said.

Having realised that the campaigns ahead of the general elections divided her electorates, Buumba has now embarked on a mission to unite her ward.

“These elections definitely brought a lot of pain and separated a lot of people and my community was not an exception. Today I held a reconciliation meeting with all the traditional, civic and other leaders in my ward as we prepare for a public meeting where I will address my people for the first time after elections.
We also successfully elected our leaders for the Ward Development committee putting the past behind us and moving towards development as a ward.”

Her Plans Beyond 2016

Her election as a Councillor for Magoba ward has not made Buumba relaxed, she is still aiming high.

She has just announced her intention to challenge other elected councillors to contest as the Deputy Council Chairperson for Kafue District.

Three other councillors have also expressed interest to contest the position.

Buumba says women need to be represented in the Council and the fact that the Council Chairperson is a man will make it easy for her to campaign as a female candidate.

5 comments:

  1. This article has done if for me Paul am inspired it is very good that young people in my country can still share such a passion to ensure that children receive care and support and women are empowered with knowledge...great piece you have here.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks alot Nyarai. Indeed Buumba is doing a good job and she needs our encouragement to reach even more people in her charity work

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  2. Very impressive. Kudos to Buumba.
    And may many young souls there follow suit.

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  3. Great piece. This girl has a future in public service. Is she from a well to do family?

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