Meeting my future self; By Cecilia Mukuka

Before being part of the ICS programme with Challenges Worldwide I set myself life rules like being kind to others, being honest, always going for the laugh, if I don’t ask, I don’t get. I also had a question “What do I want my life to look like after the ICS programme?”
Now I’m on the ICS programme, working with Challenges Worldwide and I have spent five weeks in Kitwe and four weeks on my placement with Border Farmers’ Co-operative (BFC). I have my work counterpart Will and my two other workmates Jack and Isaac, I get along very well with these guys, they are very helpful and we work well together.

I feel very grateful for the hospitality at BFC so far, they have given us as much access to their information as possible and they are giving up their time for meetings and interviews. I am very happy to be having this experience to better my understanding of what Business Consulting is.

Coming to my host home I’m staying with the lovely family of Mr and Mrs Lungu. They are very kind and they always make me feel at home together with my UK home counterpart Abi. Talking about Abi, she is a very smart girl I like the way we get along, we laugh, we talk, we share our daily experiences and we understand each other. In short, I do not feel the cultural difference that much with her.

Now back to my question “What do I want my life to look like after the ICS programme?” I never knew I would find the answer this early before the end of my placement. But after just four weeks on my placement, I have realised my true potential and how I have been holding myself back all this while with limited dreams.

My ICS experience with Challenges Worldwide so far has made me gain more understanding in consulting, business management and everything business related. I have also realised how easy it is to begin my own business and how these small and medium sized enterprises contribute to the development of my country.

I have also gained some presentation skills. I never imagined that I would be able to present recommendations to the board members of BFC – before being part of the programme I could not stand and talk to an audience but thanks to Challenges Worldwide for bringing out the best in me I can do this now.

I am still on my placement at BFC, I wake up every morning thinking of how I can help the organization get everything in place by the end of this programme, I have just realised that I think less of myself and more of what to offer to the organization to make it grow.

Above all, I am having a great experience on the ICS programme so far; new friends, new work experiences, great opportunities and I am learning new things every day and I keep meeting my future self.

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