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ZCO Holds Mid Year Review & Annual Staff Retreat

© UNICEF Zambia - 2012/MMaseko
Education Section presenting their milestones during the mid-year review

UNICEF Zambia Country Office staff held their annual retreat and mid-year review from July 26 to 29, 2012 in order to take stock of programme implementation and strengthen team work.

The retreat, held at Protea Safari Lodge north of Lusaka, was characterised by presentations from various sections to demonstrate achievements against milestones set for implementation of UNICEF Zambia’s Country Programme which covers 2011-2015. The presentations included innovative role plays with participation from every section member followed by comments or questions from counterparts much to the pleasure of senior management.

"I was very satisfied with the high quality of the presentations and the tangible progress that has been made by the programmes. The team building exercises were extremely useful in helping all of us to work together to create a conducive environment to achieve desired results for children", said Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa, UNICEF Representative to Zambia.

Zambia UNICEF Staff Association (ZUSA) president James Simasiku, whose association worked with management to organize the retreat, applauded staff for attending the event.

The entire ZUSA executive would like to congratulate and appreciate all staff members for a fruitful and memorable retreat. Indeed it was a moment of great joy and sweet togetherness as we reflected on the team - the UNICEF Zambia Team, and tried to explore and appreciate on how we can work better together and further cement the already existing team spirit,” said James.

© UNICEF Zambia - 2012/MMaseko
The Northerners explain the "Matebeto tradition" at a cultural night at the retreat

The annual outing was also used to welcome about seven new staff members and orient them on UNICEF’s Human Rights Based Approach to programming.

Astrid Choongo Banda, new in her position as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Officer said that the retreat helped her ‘break into’ UNICEF.

The retreat was very informative and interesting. We should do it again. It was a good way of orienting new staff like me and the benefits to us new staff members cannot be overemphasized,” said Astrid.

Astrid’s comments were echoed by Given Mwanakatwe Daka who recently joined UNICEF as Education Specialist for Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE).
The retreat took place at a time when I was in UNICEF for only one month and so in that sense it provided a great opportunity for me to get to know everyone and to put a face to names that I had come across and names to faces that I had met but not talked to. After the retreat I feel much more at home in UNICEF.  I must say, I experienced a lot of positive and constructive energy around,” said Given.

New staff members took turns in chairing both evening and day time team building activities. Every day was filled with fun and cultural group activities that were so good that no one opted to sneak out and catch a glimpse of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament which was going on at the time.

To crown it all, local consultant and team building expert Phillip Chibuta led the team in different team building exercises. Staff were able to know more about each other, how to communicate better and work as a team in helping women and children in Zambia enjoy their rights.



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