A Small Shelter in a time of storm

A Small Shelter in a time of storm

Date: June 26, 2020
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“Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.” ― Veronica Roth

2019 was a year of hope, inspiration, blessings and sorrow. Gender Links Zambia had just resumed full operation, I was ready to get in the field, ready to reunite with my old council colleagues. This was a blessing that came through a phone call from GL CEO on the eve of my cyber forensics exam. “Albert I have good news for you”. She said. “We got a little bit of funding that has enabled us to reopen the Zambia office, and I was wondering if you would like to come on board”. To cut the long story short, I am writing my Learning Journey today.

I have always believed in counting my blessings, this blessing opened more doors for me in my professional life. My new work with GL meant that I had to be a leader, a decision maker and a better multi tasker. Coming from two years of closure, meant I had to make new contacts in our area of operations and dig up the old contacts to help me run the process smoothly. Luckily, I had so much support my local partners LGAZ, my colleague, friend Isaac Zulu was always on standby to assist with the transition.

I learnt to be a country manager in a shortest possible time, the rush, the deadlines, the quick decisions to be made, and all just contributed to me being a better leader and a person. I leant the art of patience and tolerance. I am not much of a talker, but this position required that I become more or less a talker. (Apparently talking is a survival skill). A phone call blessing with lessons indeed.

Then came the sorrows. You must know that, over the years, I have spent much time praying for those who are afflicted. Keep them safe I have prayed, heal the broken hearted I prayed, and also praying for the moms and dads, the spouses, and the many family members, all those that must face these real-life situations with one another. At times I was at a loss for words on their behalf . . . their storms of life where great indeed!.

You see, I have encountered storms in my life but nothing like the storm encountered on January 26th 2019. On this day I lost a dear friend, my second God, My father. He had died of a heart attack an hour right after I spoke to him. I had a choice, either to break down or be a man that he had raised me to be. I choose the latter, this meant I had to become a husband to my mom, her friend and a father to all my sisters. Talk about a three hour status change.

What was frightening was that I had become everyone’s hero, but I found a shelter and comfort in my colleagues at GL. You see having a group of friends at work definitely makes life easier. Investing in colleagues at GL has helped me a great deal in developing my leadership skills, I have developed these skills through the support and development of others.

I recently discovered that the higher a person’s social identification at work, the better their health and well-being. In other words, the more we feel aligned with the organization and the stronger our relationships are with colleagues, the better off we are.

In times like this when the world is facing a greater storm of COVID19, we need more than ever to seek comfort and shelter in our colleagues. The morning checkups, the comforting zoom conversations, in short, the GL community we have formed, will surely be the best place to be, home and dry. I don’t know about you, but GL has indeed been a small shelter in my time of storm.

Albert Ngosa, Zambia co-ordinator

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