Mr. Godfrey Phiri, our Community Engagement Coordinator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Community Forests Program implemented by BCP, was recently announced as the fourth and latest recipient of BCP’s Carey Eaton Award – a bi-annual nomination-based award that recognizes outstanding team members for their performance and embodiment of BCP’s values. Mr. Phiri was recognized by his colleagues for his hard work, perseverance, flexibility, and humility in overcoming obstacles, and also, for the mentorship he provides his team. Godfrey respond to the announcement with a smile, saying, “People are noticing. Its humbling and at the same time drives me to do more. This award for me symbolizes the personification of an individual who contributed greatly to starting BCP. This award drives me to become a more dedicated leader and to use that extra strength to make sure this project works.”
As stories shared by his colleagues can reaffirm, Godfrey is a philosopher at heart, who is continually seeking to better understand the connection between people and ideas. This passion has lead him throughout his career; firstly, as a social worker using “edu-tainment” (education + entertainment) to teach and change people’s behaviour toward HIV/AIDs stigma and treatment, and then working with rural communities to improve livelihoods through agriculture. In 2014, seeking a new challenge and seeing the impact of climate change on Zambia, Godfrey joined BCP as a Community Engagement Manger. He has subsequently been promoted to his current role as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the USAID-funded Community Forests Program, as a result of his hard work, competency, and demonstrated commitment to the program.
In many ways, Godfrey is the “face” of BCP, leading his team to work in partnership with a variety of people and groups. One day, you may find him in the field discussing conservation agriculture with the local women’s group; the next day, he may be meeting with Government, developing polices empowering communities in protecting their forest. Godfrey’s role is critical to the success of the USAID-funded Community Forests Program. It involves a lot of pressure, a lot of work, and can often be challenging. As Godfrey explains: “The most challenging thing about working at BCP is that this project [is being] implemented in Zambia for the first time. The issue is buy in; convincing people they can earn revenue from protecting the forest.” Yet, despite the obstacles, he remains positive: “Each day I wake up to new challenges. I have seen myself grow to understand technical issues about climate change and carbon, and making these concrete and understandable to the community.”
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of Mr. Phiri, and we look forward to announcing the next recipient of the Carey Eaton Mission Award in early 2017!
The Legacy of Mr. Carey Eaton
Born in Zambia, raised in Kenya, Mr. Eaton was globally recognized as a technology pioneer in Africa. Prior to the inception of BCP, Mr. Eaton held the position of CIO in a publicly traded Australian company. He then took a risk and returned to Kenya, where he started a group of linked technology firms that soon created 600 jobs in multiple companies, built African capacity and improved markets through the mantra that “technology is the great equalizer”.
When BCP was launched in 2012, Mr. Eaton became an Advisor who volunteered extensive time and expertise to support BCP through the rigors of the start-up phase and during the development of the company. BCP is here today thanks to his support.
In June 2014, Mr. Eaton tragically passed following a violent crime in Nairobi, Kenya. He is survived by his wife and four young children.
The Carey Eaton Mission Award was launched in his honour in October 2014, and is intended to recognize BCP staff members who embody the values, commitment and spirit that Mr. Eaton brought to the start-up phase of the company. Mr. Eaton was committed to African economic development, capacity building, teamwork, mentorship, humility and hard work. In spite of his success, he made time to coach aspiring African tech entrepreneurs. He was generous, energetic, a strategic thinker, fun, and focused. The Carey Eaton Mission Award is as much a recognition of good character, as it is recognition of actions that contribute to the overall BCP Team.
This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.