On February 2nd, BCP’s 4th birthday, Hildah Mbalazi, the BCP/CFP Community Engagement Manager for the Rufunsa Site, became the third person and first female to be honoured with the BCP Carey Eaton Mission Award, which recognizes BCP team members for their outstanding service and exemplification of BCP’s values.
Hildah is one of BCP’s longest-serving team members, having started as an intern in 2012. As she explains: “I graduated in 2013 from the University of Zambia where I acquired my degree in environmental education. It was during my time at UNZA that I got devoted to BCP as an intern; this was equally a time when the company was being set up. I think, I left a good impression because after my internship, I was given an offer to join them after completing my degree which I later did…Looking back at my very first years to what I have achieved today is just unbelievable.”
With a strong commitment to BCP and delivering impacts with the communities she works with, Hildah was promoted to Community Engagement Manger in Rufunsa in early 2016. Along the way, she has faced numerous challenges with positivity and dedication. As the inscription on her award certificate describes: Hildah lived in a tent for nearly a year, including during the rains, and she chose to remain in Rufunsa despite local politics, all the while being the only female on her team. Throughout these challenges, she maintained her poise, kept her team focused, and proposed solutions.
However, Hildah is not only a hard worker with a positive attitude. As the announcement to the BCP team read, what set her nomination apart from the 10+ others that were received from over 20 members of the BCP team, was the fact that Hildah’s hard work had recently resulted in some remarkable impacts. In the past 6 months Hildah has helped to lead the Rufunsa team in delivering tangible impacts to local communities, including: overseeing a grant that trained 500 farmers in conservation farming, delivering 11,000+ kg of seeds, launching 3 nurseries, training 83 honey producers, delivering 113 hives, registering 4 community governance Cooperatives, and expanding the Environmental Education Program and School Support Program to include 5 schools and 8 teachers.
Despite her long time and demonstrated commitment to BCP, Hildah responded to the announcement of the award with modest surprise: “Honestly I did not see myself winning this award,” she said. “The company has grown exponentially and there are people doing some great work for the company that I thought were going to receive the award…I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this award and I am grateful to everyone.”
Hildah’s achievement is a testament of her leadership skills, hard work, and having role models who inspire her. “I would like to pay tribute to Molly Crystal who has been my mentor and role model, and the Rufunsa team who have only been supportive, without them this would not have been possible. This is a great motivation for me to work extra hard and win the award again,” concludes Mbalazi.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of Ms. Mbalazi and her team, and we look forward to announcing the next recipient of the Carey Eaton Mission Award in mid 2016!
The Legacy of Mr. Carey Eaton
Mr. Carey Eaton was a BCP Advisor from the beginning. He was born in Zambia, grew up in Kenya, and he 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.