Friends of Utah: Ms. Ekenia Chifamba

A proud citizen of Zimbabwe, Ekenia Chifamba is the founder and director of Shamwari Yemwanasikana, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to women, girls, and people living with HIV/AIDS. She also worked as the program director in the Zimbabwe chapter of the Girl Child Network, where she was an administrator over daily operations. Ms. Ekenia Chifamba is devoted to helping women and girls deal with gender specific issues in a safe space. She expanded on these efforts by visiting Utah in 2019 by invitation of the U.S. State Department on the Non-Profit Management program. 

On the Non-Profit Management Program, Ms. Ekenia Chifamba met with many working professionals in the civil sector. She drew many valuable lessons from each visit. First, from her meeting with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism, Ms. Ekenia learned the value of volunteerism. Now, two years later, she finds herself helping small organizations set up systems and processes free of charge; and encouraging her coworkers to join her in this effort. They have collectively helped ten different businesses to date. 

Ms. Ekenia Chifamba also had the opportunity to meet with Springboard Utah, a nonprofit organization that helps connect women to workforce opportunities. There, she felt motivated to take up leadership roles in her home community. She is now a councilor at the Office of Anti-Domestic Violence Council and a board secretary for the National Association of NGOs in Zimbabwe where she sits on several non-profit boards. 

A visit to the Community Foundation of Utah helped her understand the role the community plays in nonprofit organizations. Communities use non-profits as tools to better themselves. Having learned this, Ms. Chifamba dedicated much time to helping non-profits expand through corporate fundraising. She put great effort into her community’s “One Stop Centre,” which serves as a community center in addition to providing stationery and sanitary wear.

Finally, the Girl Scouts Organization taught Ms. Chifamba how to meaningfully engage with young girls in discussions about society, economics, and politics. After learning this, she and her coworkers launched a girls collective which houses organizations promoting the rights of girls as well as a leadership school which empowers girls to lead. 

There is no doubt that Ms. Chifamba’s efforts have improved communities both at home and abroad. Evidently, she was an active learner during her visit to the United States and took what she learned home, applying it energetically. UCCD wishes her the best in her continual efforts and appreciates her sharing her story with her Friends in Utah!