The last couple of months of 2016 went by in a flurry of activity, but fret not because your (hopefully) favorite blog is back and in full force. We have a lot to catch up on so lets get right into it.
We’ll be giving you a run-down of our 2016 end of year activities, and in case you missed them, you can head over to any of our social media pages and have a glance at what went on during December. The atmosphere was generally filled with what the “young people” like to call KeDecember (its December) fever. We were running about trying to plan, implement and finalize preps for the end of year seminars and parties that have to take place before we officially close offices.
First on the line up was our volunteers end of year seminar/party which was held in Makumba village which is about 65km from Livingstone. It was a 2-day affair, the party was held on Thursday December 15th and the volunteers and RN staff as well as community members had tons of fun interacting and dancing the night away. The next day is when the seminar was held. This was basically just a summary of what had been achieved through the year and how to improve this year. The event was graced by the Headwoman of the village, mind you, its not very common to find a woman in a position of authority such as this in the rural areas and it was wonderful to have her there. She helped present the volunteers with their ‘year in service’ certificates alongside the Assistant Director, Mutukwa Matengenya as well as the Programs Manger, Julius Simfukwe. After all the certificates were dispensed with, it was time to cut into the very delicious cake that had been baked specifically for the occasion. After which, a hearty lunch buffet was served and then sadly it was time to come back into the city.
The next event was the Kubala Girls (sponsorship girls) Christmas party which was held on December 23rd at the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) mess hall. This had a great turn out and girls from various schools showed up to enjoy the party. The entertainment was exceptional, with superstar Zambian artist, Shyman Shaizo performing some of his hits and also giving the girls an inspirational talk. Other entertainment included Mosi-o-Tunya drama group who showed off their African dance moves. The girls themselves got to show off their dance expertise in mini dance competitions that were held and the best dancers got a small cash prize for their efforts. The team from Chreso were also on hand to advocate on issues of HIV/AIDS and the importance of getting tested and being safe.
The festivities were graced by the Mayoress who was standing in for the Mayor and she gave a short speech on the importance of the work that Response Network is doing in the education sector and she encouraged the girls to keep their grades up and strive to do better in school.
There was also a prize-giving ceremony where selected girls were given gifts for their hard work through the year. No one went away empty handed though as there was a lovely Christmas cake that was enjoyed by all.
Last but not least was the end of year staff party which was held on the Taonga boat cruise and was well attended by RN staff and selected invited guests including the guidance counselors and teachers from the schools we work with as well as some familiar faces from the local media to name but a few. RN’s director gave a riveting performance where he belted out a Christmas carol for the attendees. The performance received a standing ovation (video coming soon on instagram) and solicited an encore from the crowd. There were plenty of refreshments and food available and by the time the boat docked, everyone was in high spirits. This day was the official closing of RN offices for the 2016 year and want an ending it was, ended with a bang as they say.