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Mango members on Placement: Stephen Hawthorne in Zambia with Build It International
1 November 2017
Register member Stephen Hawthorne recently started his third Mango placement as the Volunteer Head of Finance in Zambia with Build It International. We recently caught up with him to hear how he was enjoying life in Lusaka despite having his hands full!
‘I’m halfway into my third Mango assignment, this time as a Volunteer Head of Finance with Build It International, based at their head office in Zambia. This is the fourth NGO I’ve worked for and my second volunteer assignment. The work is challenging but rewarding; you are part of a team that will train more than 150 Zambians in 2017, giving them building skills that will improve their job prospects. As with many NGO roles the reality of the work has been slightly different from the job description, so I’ve had to be flexible. I’ve spent a great deal more time than I expected on day-to-day financial tasks, providing the Finance Manager with much needed support for her immense workload. Over my remaining six months in the role, I hope to spend more time on capacity building and making lasting improvements to financial procedures. As in many developing country contexts, there is a real need for capacity building and skills development in NGO finance teams in Zambia.