A legacy of the Class of 2009: The Zambian Development Support Foundation

Perhaps the most demonstrative legacy of the Class of 2009 is the creation of ZDSF.  Here in outline form is the story of its development.


The Zambian Development Support Foundation:  a timeline


Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 6.39.02 AMThe mission

The mission of the Zambia Development Support Foundation (ZDSF) is to promote and facilitate sustainable communities by working with local partnerships to identify and support viable entrepreneurial initiatives with small loans and effective community based administrative and organizational support.

ZDSF works in communities that have long term relationships with Habitat for Humanity-Zambia (HfH-Z).

The timeline

January 2009:  The Periclean Scholars Class of 2009 travels to Kawama, Zambia, with their Mentor Dr. Steve Braye and helps construct two houses through Habitat for Humanity-Zambia (HfH-Z).  The Elon team is joined by two representatives from the Redwoods Group, Dan Baum and Amanda Nieman.  The team meets and works with newly hired HfH-Z staff person Voster Tembo, and this Elon team build near Ndola is his first field experience.  During their stay in Kawama, the Pericleans meet many community leaders in Kawama and begin to talk about deepening and sustaining the partnership that has been created.

DSC_0067May 2009:  The Periclean Scholars Class of 2009 graduates but vows to remain connected to the people of Kawama.

February 2009- March 2011: Contact is maintained with HfH-Z and Voster Tembo and in the spring of 2011 a second Elon HfH-Z team is formed by Dr. Steve Braye.

May 2011:  An Elon team travels to Kawama led by Dr. Steve Braye includes 8 current Elon students  and Dr. Tom Arcaro, Director of the Periclean Scholars.  Two builds are done by the Elon team in the communities surrounding the HfH village of Kawama.  These builds are for families both infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.  During this time the Elon team meets local leaders Beatrice Sikutu and Waveson Hamuchankwi who are consulted regarding how the Elon-Kawama partnership can be taken to the next level.  A hammer mill project isIMG_1793 discussed in some depth, and Tom Arcaro and Robin French, Elon ’14, begin work on a proposal.

January 2012:  Dan Baum and Amanda Neiman return to Zambia with some Duke University students to do a HfH build in Chipulukusu village near Ndola, the Kawama site having exhausted available new plots of land.

June 2011-April 2013:  Work on a hammer mill project proposal matures and drafts are sent out to potential funding sources with no concrete success. Communication between Voster Tembo and Periclean Scholars Director Tom Arcaro remains fairly constant during this time and conversations lead to altering the original plan for a hammer mill project to a micro-finance scheme.  The Periclean Scholars Alumni Association (PSAA), through the newly created Periclean Foundation, offers start-up support for the creation of a new NGO focused on providing small loans to women in HfH villages near Ndola.  The PSAA was endowed in 2007 by a gift from the Redwoods Foundation allowing for support of this and other Periclean Class partnerships.  Additional support for this start up comes from non-Periclean Elon alumni.  The PSAA agrees to provide funds on a yearly basis to support the administration of the ZDSF.

May 2013:  The Zambian Development Support Foundation is officially granted a Certificate of Incorporation by the Office of the Registrar of Companies and Business Names.  The first directors listed on the application are Victor Sitali, Voster Tembo, Waveson Hamuchankwi, and Oswald Lungu.  Work is begun on (1) composing the array of documents that will be used to make loans, (2) securing additional board members, in particular female community leaders, (3) establishing an official bank account for the ZDSF, and (4) spreading the word about the Foundation to HfH communities near Ndola.

ZDSF 1September 2013:  Funds are transferred to the ZDSF and loans 001, 002, and 003 are made to three clusters of 5 people, with 13 of the 15 total being women.

October 2013:  The first repayment of loans begins and, on fulfillment of a prior agreement, additional funds are made available to ZDSF from benefactors in Ireland.  A second round of loans are currently in the application phase.  Appropriate computer hardware is supplied to ZDSF for bookkeeping and documentation of ZDSF activities.

Plans for the future

Plans for the future include keeping detailed records of the ZDSF progress in the first year and scaling up the initiative by reaching out to other HfH locations in Zambia and eventually in other nations with HfH affiliates.


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