Issac Ndhlovu has become the first student to graduate from the Anglican Alliance’s distance-learning programme, Agents of Change.
His success has been welcomed by the Anglican Alliance chair, Archbishop Albert Chama, who said that Issac had blazed a trail for others to follow and would inspire his fellow students around the Communion.
In a message to the Anglican Alliance, Issac has shared his experience of the six-module programme, and thanks the Alliance for the extraordinary opportunity to take part in this innovative and eye-opening course.
He said, “Thank you very much for this opportunity to study Agents of Change. This programme is a very good programme which can change the way we manage projects in the Church as well as in the communities.
“The Agents of Change programme is good for project managers and officers in the church as it will give them the skills needed for them to successfully set up and implement a project in the community.
“With the knowledge learnt from the programme they will know who to consult, include, and protect, and run the project to the benefit of the community. The knowledge you get for governance, finance and working programing just completes the whole study and makes you a fully-baked project manager!
“Agents of Change also brings out the important role of the church as well as the project, and highlights how we work with volunteers. They are the key to the Church and the project – without them there is no work, so it is very important to know how to work with volunteers. This is found in the Agents of Change programme.”
Issac’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.
He said, “Agents of Change made me realise that the passion I had to save the community can come true.
“I looked at the high rate of maternal mortality in the rural areas and the transport problems that people face in rural communities. I thought I could do something to help improve access to good health instead of letting people die in thei homes due to lack of transport.”
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. Issac has shown understanding and competency in these modules and produced a very clear, comprehensive project proposal. Well done!”
The lessons learned in each module had to be applied to a practical programme, so that at the end of the course, Issac 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 Issac and his family.
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.
“Issac 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 Issac and every blessing on his work as an Agent of Change here in Zambia,” the Archbishop said.
And Issac’s appreciation for the programme and its significance to his community is apparent. He said, “For all this I say thank you to the Anglican Alliance for the training and support in the Agents of Change programme. Many lives will be saved.”
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, and Anthony Dancer, who is based in New Zealand.
In the picture: Issac Ndhlovu stands outside the cathedral in Lusaka, Zambia