Passing on the torch – Coach Dabwitso
Passing on the Torch at Edulution means that leaders create leaders. And it's our leaders that make Edulution programs so successful in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dabwitso Elvis Mweemba is one of those leaders at Edulution. Now 25 years old, he is originally from Mazabuka, in Zambia’s Southern Province, and PestalozziWorld alumni who joined Edulution in March 2016 as a trainee coach at age 18. Seven years later, he has moved on from direct coaching to supporting the Edulution hub in Lusaka and training new coaches in Centres across Zambia, Namibia, and South Africa.
In a recent conversation with Dabwitso, he explains his Edulution career trajectory and how he developed his passion for human development: “… it's a fascinating and varied professional journey. A coach can be trained to work with the Learners, then promoted from Assistant to Bronze, Silver, and Gold coach, moving up to working at the hub. Throughout your coaching career, you will learn a lot about teaching, engaging with Learners, coach growth, child protection, and how to be a better professional. These tools greatly benefit a person's professional skills and contribute to an important and incredible personal development.“
Edulution sources its coaches from the local communities where it operates its programs, generally on a ratio of one coach for every 120 learners. Most coaches come from vulnerable backgrounds yet reliably develop into confident, skilled individuals like Dabwitso. The key to this transformation is Edulution’s human development process, which comprises bespoke training, active ongoing mentorship, and a philosophy of trusting coaches to operate with autonomy and freedom in the service of their duties. Also key is an organizational culture that is empowering and egalitarian, where colleagues respect and support one another and pass on skills to the next group of coaches.
As a Silver coach, Dabwitso is doing that – passing the torch. “I frequently travel for work, both inside Zambia and across Namibia South Africa. I like training new coaches because each training period offers me another opportunity to learn and pass on the torch to a new generation of coaches.” In 2022, Edulution launched seven new Centres in Mpumalanga, South Africa, and Dabwitso was there to help train the new coaches, growing them to become confident individuals.
Another major success factor Dabwitso mentioned in the conversation is the importance of receiving support from all local stakeholders. In South Africa, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) helped choose schools that met the Edulution requirements and were involved in preparing the schools for the Edulution program. Key was also the support of other local partners like the Penreach Foundation, which was instrumental in connecting Edulution to the local communities and providing spaces to conduct the coach training.
It's clear that the Edulution program's success is driven by our coaches and the collaboration with local stakeholders: this is a robust recipe for accelerated growth of the program in public schools in SSA and promoting transformative change in how Africa learns, ultimately passing the torch to each learner we connect with.
If you want to know more about our model and coach development, please see our 2021 annual report.