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Celebrating the success of Sport In Action Enterprise Officer Jessica Kaluwe

Next up in our sporting storytelling series prior to this year’s #NWC2023 is Sport In Action’s Enterprise Coordinator, Jessica Kaluwe.

Jessica is a prime example of a sporting leader who has used the power of sport for helping others achieve their skills. In her role as Enterprise Coordinator Jessica has continued to inspire others, leading to a consistent growth in the number of girls becoming involved with Sport In Action. Using sport as an impetus for development, Jessica has taught hundreds of girls across Zambia vital life lessons helping them make positive choices in life.

Originally as a Hub Site Coordinator at Matero, Jessica has progressed in her current role leading change across other Hub Sites in Lusaka and beyond. Now at regular sporting tournaments you see girls being taught valuable life lessons, giving those who can’t go to school an opportunity to learn.

“When it comes to life skills not everyone has information, there is some we are taught and some we are not, through the implementation of the life skills the girls can identify do’s and don’ts.”

While as a Hub Site Coordinator Jessica discovered that participating young girls and boys had issues out with sport that were important. In her free time Jessica enjoys working on hand crafting using a range of different materials including chitenge fabric and repurposed corn sacks. Jessica then saw an opportunity for using her existing sporting sessions to teach girls additional life skills through sport.

“Back then I was already making handcraft, making mugs, rugs, shoes, handbags into fabric material. When covid was on peak, I had to teach some of the girls how to make face masks, and from there we started selling some, so we could buy the girls some books and uniform for school”.

In her role Jessica is well aware of the opportunity to deliver and develop long term sustainable practices in the lives of young girls and boys.

“My hope for the future is for girls to have enquired a trade. When you teach a girl a skill nothing can take it away from them it is permanent. When I see girls not having a skill, being able to do things on their own for me it’s a plus.”

Looking ahead Jessica is keen for her efforts to have inspired others to implement life skills through sport and to be seen and heard all around Zambia.

“On the enterprise I would rather see the project being implemented in every part of Zambia and to see a lot of girls be able to stand on their own”.

Referring back to her roots as a Hub Site Coordinator at Matero, Jessica wishes Zambian netball can continue to improve and take advantage of the first Netball World Cup held in African soil.

“I would love to see Netball become a global sport and to see our girls become members of teams around the world like you see in football”.

Despite many challenges it evident to see that Jessica’s love for helping others has had many successes in giving those less fortunate a chance in life.

Ultimately, the joint exchange of sports and enterprise coordinated by people like Jessica, netball pathways have risen giving all forms of netball from grassroots to national programs more momentum.

Sandy Coull