His success has been welcomed by the Anglican Alliance chair, Archbishop Albert Chama, who said that Isaac had blazed a trail for others to follow and would inspire his fellow students around the Communion.
Isaac’s project, designed as part of the programme, is to set up a motorbike ambulance to provide access to health services, especially for pregnant women who need life-saving hospital attention. Now he’s completed his studies, he will focus on setting up the ambulance service.
Supporting him in his work has been Eleanor Sanderson, a lecturer in development studies in New Zealand. She said that Isaac’s work was comparable with some of the best she had ever seen.
Isaac started work on the Agents of Change programme last year, and has completed the six modules in consultation, inclusion, governance, protection of vulnerable people, finance and work programming. Each module involved reading, practical activities, and discussions with a support group of fellow students.
The lessons learned in each module had to be applied to a practical programme, so that at the end of the course, Isaac had a proposal for a project that could be completed and bring benefits to his community. He also had to send regular updates on his work to his Mentor.
All this had to be fitted in around his work and family commitments. So completing the course has meant a real sacrifice for Isaac and his family.
Isaac said, “The Agents of Change programme has made me realise that the passion I had to serve the community can come true.
“Looking at the high rate of maternal mortality in the rural areas and the transport problems which people face in rural communities, I thought I could do something to help improve access to good health, instead of letting people die in their homes due to a lack of transport.”
Most Revd Albert Chama, who is the Archbishop of Central Africa, which includes Zambia, said he was delighted that to see the first student come from one of the pilot projects in Lusaka.
“Isaac has shown real dedication to his ministry to local people in the way he has persisted with his studies, and produced such excellent results. Agents of Change is a rigorous academic course, developed for the Anglican Alliance by The Open University in the UK. Completing it requires commitment, especially for people who have work and family obligations.
“So many congratulations to Isaac and every blessing on his work as an Agent of Change here in Zambia,” the Archbishop said.
His programme mentor, Eleanor Sanderson, said, “I believe that your work is of real quality and even comparable with the high end of some of the many development projects that I have been asked to access and evaluate. Isaac has shown understanding and competency in these modules and produced a very clear, comprehensive project proposal. Well done!”
Zambia’s success in the Agents of Change programme is expected to continue as Rev Gabriel Phiri and Rev Edwin Mwanza, in the same study group, are also nearing the end of their studies.
And in Zimbabwe, a study group in Harare is preparing to make their final submission to their Mentor, Sally Zimmerman, a UK Anglican and special needs teacher.
In the picture: Isaac Ndhlovu stands outside the cathedral in Lusaka, Zambia