Two Judo for Fred youths are crowned Zambia’s best 2018 cadets

As it appeared in The Mast Newspapers of Sunday, January 20,2019

ZAMBIA Army is the 2018 best judo team after beating Zambia Police by 478 points.
And Livingstone’s Judo for Fred youths Thabo Sitali and Fillet Musonda are 2018’s best male and female cadets respectively after having not lost any bout last year.
In an interview, Livingstone Judo for Fred coach Mama Hamoonga said her team was forth behind Zambia National Service.
“At the grand finale held in Lusaka, Zambia Army amassed 811 points to be the nation’s best judo team followed by Zambia Police with 333 points, ZNS had 218 while we had 119 points,” Hamoonga said.
In fifth position was Central Sports Judo Club with 53 points while Ipon, Sable of Kabwe, Mazabuka and Maheba Judo Clubs had 30, 23, 16 and 10 points respectively to take up the sixth,
seventh, eighth and ninth positions in that order.
And Hamoonga said the Norwegian- sponsored Livingstone outfit through Response Network will this year embark on a massive recruitment exercise targeting school children.
“We will embark on a recruitment drive by visiting schools so that we can have many young girls and boys joining Judo. We are tired of always settling for either third or fourth position. We want to go for the top slot this year,” she said.
Hamoonga, who was also awarded the best judo coordinator trophy, and for being committed to the sports activities by the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA), praised Sitali 13 and Musonda 14 for not losing any of their bouts last year.


Livingstone Judoka Fillet Musonda


Zambia's best male cadet Judoka

It’s neer worth it to be proud, says Spigseth

RESPONSE Network director Håkon Spigseth says he belives his main purpose in life lies in doing well to other people.

And Spigseth says that it is never worth it to be proud because one’s purpose of life and work is above that.

Addressing workers of his organisation in Livingstone to preview the organisations 2018 challenges and successes, Spigseth said he was lucky to come to work in Zambia, an environment where people are God.

“I co-started RN because I believed that my main purpose in life lies in doing well to other people, and to put that first.  The other things in life I feel is rather of smaller importance… one result of
that thinking is that as long as we focus on the main purpose of life, other things become of much smaller importance. It is never worth it to be angry with someone, because love is our mission. It’s never worth it to look down at someone else, because love is our mission,” Spigseth said.

He added that RN workers needed to remember that whenever sorrow and challenges come, they need to be kind to it, because God had placed a pearl in sorrows hand.

“I was lucky to come to work in an environment where people are God believers, and many therefore also have the same outlook on life, that: ‘To do to others what you want others to do to you’ is so
important in life.  So we became the Response Network family,” Spigseth added.

He, however, indicated that life was difficult, and challenges and disagreements will come.

“We need to remember the above purpose of our being here. It’s never worth it to be proud, because our purpose of life and work is above that. It is never worth it to talk very strictly to anyone, because our purpose of life and work is above that,” he said.

“It’s never worth it to be bossy because our purpose of life and work is above that. If you are bossy you are failing on our love goals,” Spigseth said.

And Spigseth informed the workers that whatever difficulties are there, whatever they thought their
colleagues were doing wrong, all they needed to do is: “say it with love.”

“We need is to ‘say it with love’ and then she/he will accept to be talked to and corrected. If we have talked something negative about someone, all we need is to swallow our pride and go and say ‘sorry my brother/sorry my sister.” Spigseth advised.

RN receives assistance and collaboration from the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF), Support Centre for Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse (SMISO), the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (NOREC) formerly Fredskorpset (FK), the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Academic Work of Sweden among other organisations and individuals.



RN Director


Response Network and DAPP strengthen relationships

A three man delegation from the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) this morning and afternoon (November 19,2018) conducted a technical support visit to Response Network office near the Wildlife Department offices formerly ZAWA to strengthen the cooperation that exists between the two non-profit and non-governmental organisations. Response Network is a sub-grant organisation which is implementing some programmes in 45 schools in Livingstone under the DAPP-ZAMFAM Project teaching children using sport to mitigate HIV and AIDS. The DAPP delegation was led by the sub-grant manager Timothy Kipembele while the Response Network team was headed by the director

Response Network Director Håkon Spigseth (l) with DAPP Sub Grant manager Timothy Kipembele

DAPP and Response Network members of staff after a meting in Livingstone


Response Network’s Judo for Fred hosts National League Tournament

LUSAKA based Green Buffalos Judo Club sponsored by the Zambia Army on Saturday November 3 won the Livingstone National League Tournament after amassing 64 points

And only four Judo clubs managed to fulfil the Livingstone fixture out of the six that had confirmed their attendance with the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA) secretary general Mabvuto Nguni.

According to Livingstone Judo for Fred coach, Mama Hamoonga the Livingstone based Judo for Fred Club sponsored by a Norwegian through Response Network a non-governmental organisation working to improve the lives of Zambia’s rural communities in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo using the self-help concept was third with 24 points.

“Green Buffalos (Zambia Army) of Lusaka were first with 64 points followed by Green Eagles (ZNS) with 29 points, we were third and Mazabuka Judo Club was fourth with 1 point,” Hamoonga said.

Last week Nguni announced that six teams had confirmed their participation in the league tournament.

The teams that missed the Livingstone Judo tournament were Sable Nua of Kabwe, Zambia Police and the Lusaka’s Central Sports Club.


ZAMBIA judoka Simon Zulu (right) battles with Georgios Balarjishvili of Cyprus during the last Youth Commonwealth Games 60kg category event-Picture courtesy Getty Images

Zambia’s rural sports talent not tapped-RN

As appeared in The Mast Newspapers of Saturday October 28,2018

RESPONSE Network says Zambia shall continue to lag behind with regards international sporting events as long as talent in rural areas is not tapped.
And Kazungula’s Situwa and 11 Champions FC’s of Sikaunzwe and Ngwezi villages respectively have been clowned this year’s Response Network Independence Cup football champions.
In an interview, Response Networks sports coordinator Annet Sonko said the tournaments under the theme ‘Together as One’ held in the two villages were preceded by some educational lectures on sports development and disability and HIV/AIDS awareness.
“We held two Independence Tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday in the two villages in Kazungula districts. The aim of the tournaments was to enhance sports development and awareness on issues to do with disability and HIV and AIDS. We at Response Network have realised that as long as talent in rural areas is not tapped Zambia’s participation in international events will continue to lag behind,” Sonko said.
She gave an example of Zambia’s failure to make a mark at this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina held recently.
Sonko added that Response Network with the assistance of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF) shall continue to host sports tournaments in rural areas of Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo districts and appealed for sponsorship partnerships.
Sonko said in Sikaunzwe Situwa FC beat Shooting Stars FC 2-0 to lift the gold trophy, while in 3rd and 4th positions was Mwine United FC who beat Zambezi Eagles 1-0.
In Netball Sonko said Mwine United beat Zambezi Eagles 6-4, while Kingfisher was 3rd after beating Shooting Stars 4-3.
In Ngwezi, Amon Kasweka also of Response Network’s sports team announced that 11 Champions FC thrashed Vegetable Growing FC 4-0 to lift the gold Independence trophy, Super Stars FC were in third
position after beating Power United 2-1.
And Kasweka said God Knows Queens beat Rhino Swimmers 8-6 to be crowned champions while Wipers beat Queen Lions 4-2 to be in 3rd and 4th positions respectively.

Kalomo duo to set up football league

By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone

TWO Kalomo youths who have just returned from Norway plan to set up a football league for under 17’s in Kabanga area.

In an interview, Tandi Siavuta 26 and Edwin Habasonda 27 who recently returned from Norway on a Youth Sports Exchange Programme (YSEP) under Response Network a non-Governmental organisation based in Livingstone said they also plan to hold an Under 17football tournament. To be held in Kabanga in chief Siachitema’s area in Kalomo district.

“We want to form a football league for the youths especially those who are under 17 so that we can help promote the development of football in Zambia. We have noted that most of the football teams even in villages are more concentrated on adults,” Habasonda said.

He and Siavuta left for Norway last year on September 1st and returned on May 19.

He said while in Norway, they underwent football coaching programmes.

Habasonda said he was trained in football coaching in Akset while Siavuta was trained in football coaching in Steinkjer.

And Siavuta said she specialized in coaching people living with disabilities.

“After training, I did my training practicals with people living with disabilities between the ages of 12 and 14. I used to commute from Inderøy to Steinkjer,” she said.

She added that at first it was a challenge to coach football to people living with disabilities but soon adopted.

Siavuta said she would love to continue training people living with disabilities in Zambia.

Norway and Zambia has been running the YSEP programme with the collaboration of Response Network under the assistance of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF).

(l to r) Edwin and Tandi at Response Network office in Livingstone on June 6, 2018

(l to r) Edwin and Tandi at Response Network office in Livingstone on June 6, 2018


Brilliant Lstone girl seeks funding to study medicine

As published by The Mast Newspapers, Zambia on Sunday June 3, 2019

SHE has seven distinctions in Mathematics, English, Science, Biology, Geography, Commerce, Food and Nutrition at grade 12.

But opportunities for the 21-year-old Livingstone girl to study medicine hang on a thread unless she gets over £10,300.00 financial assistance. This is the story of Tivwale Nyirenda of Livingstone’s Maramba Township who needs over £10,300 to study medicine. In this interview, the emotional Tivwale  promised that if assisted, she would use her career to empower other vulnerable girls who could not access educational funding to attain their dreams.

“I want to be helped so that I can go to university and pursue a career in medicine. If assisted, I will ensure that I assist
others like me get financial help to pursue their dreams,” Tivwale says.

She  says her mother, Astridah Zulu Nyirenda,   has been to various private and public institutions in a quest to get help but to no avail. Tivwale says  her  effort to get financial assistance from Response Network,  a non-governmental organisation working in Livingstone, Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo, that is currently assisting vulnerable girls attain their education also hit a snag as the organisation is this year only assisting Grade one vulnerable children.

She says life for her and her two younger siblings is not easy as her mother, a house maid, is not financially stable. Tivwale, who was with her mother during the interview, says she would dedicate most of her time attaining her dream to be a medical doctor.

“I want to dedicate my free time as a volunteer and also strive to offer scholarships to other vulnerable girls and also offer ideas on how to improve rural health care delivery to the government instead of just relying on mobile hospitals that are currently being used,” she says.

Tivwale,  who was born in Mufulira on December 9, 1997, did her primary education at Namatama Primary School  in Livingstone where she scored Southern Province’s second highest mark  at Grade 7 and was selected to go to St Josephs Secondary School where she wrote her Grade 12 examinations in 2015. Holding back tears, she says attempts to get government bursaries had failed.

Tivwale has an acceptance letter from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK to study health sciences effective September 2018, but needs to raise the fees as the university has only awarded her a £ 1,200.00 scholarship. Nyirenda also has valid International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirements issued by the British Council in Lusaka with an
overall band score of 7.5. And her mother, Astridah, says she has been to the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Finance, Home Affairs and the Bursaries Committee only to receive assurances of possible assistance.

“I have tried all avenues apart from State House but I only receive assurances. My fear is that she is growing up and if no assistance for her to pursue her studies comes soon, she will not attain her dreams. I am a house maid and I can’t afford to meet her university requirements in terms of fees. I don’t want her to miss this chance of wanting to be a medical doctor,”  says Astridah.

A World Bank report reveals that girls’ education is about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school; complete all levels of education with the skills to effectively compete in the labour market; learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives; and contribute to their communities and the world. The World Bank adds that poverty remains the most important factor for determining whether a girl can access an education.


Tivwale at Response Network


Sport can empower girls to fight poverty – Sonko

As published by The Mast Newspapers Zambia on May 25, 2018
Sport can empower girls to fight poverty – Sonko
A 31-YEAR-OLD sports facilitator says sports can be used to empower young girls to fight poverty.
Annet Nakiwala Sonko from Response Network says the organisation will embark on a project starting next year until 2020 to empower girls and young women with sports and entrepreneurship, and life saving skills.
In her power-point presentation at the just ended International Working Group for Women in Sport (IWG) and after attending a Women Sports Leadership Academy (WASL) in Gaborone, Botswana from May 14 to 20, Sonko said Response Network was adding a component of entrepreneurship and life saving skills to sports to help young girls become self-reliant.
“We at Response Network are aiming at empowering girls and young women with sports, entrepreneurship and life saving skills so that they can be self-reliant. These will help young girls to develop personal and social decisions that help them come out of poverty, have self direction and respect for one another,” Sonko said.
She noted that Response Network works in Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo districts where girls and young women do not have the necessary knowledge and platform to articulate their challenges with regards to sport, entrepreneurship and life saving skills.
“We work in areas where young girls and women do not have a space to express themselves and participate in leadership programmes and are not given platforms to apply their entrepreneurship skills. So beginning next year until 2020, we will embark on a project to empower girls and young women with sports, entrepreneurship life saving skills so that they can be self-reliant,” said Sonko.
“We basically want rural girls and young women to have the ability to articulate and practically apply and encourage entrepreneurship skills amongst their peers and families. Since young girls and women in the rural areas are farmers, it is very important for them to have entrepreneurship skills that will help them realise their potential to start up save and borrow groups through sports and life skills.”
In her abstract to the WSLA and IWG, Sonko indicated that young people are the fastest growing segment of the population in Zambia and their welfare is fundamental to achieving key economic and social goals


Annet Sonko

DAPP comes to Mwandi women’s aid

Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on April 14, 2018

DEVELOPMENT Aid from People to People and Response Network is helping vulnerable women in Livingstone’s Mwandi township fight poverty by saving and lending each other money for small scale businesses in a system known as Self-Help Groups.

The Self-Help Groups or SHGs in short are a community based financial intermediary committee usually composed of 10–20 local women or men; however, a mixed group is generally not preferred.

According to Joseph Daka, who is Response Network (RN) DAPP facilitator, the concept of SHGs is to end poverty by empowering women and developing leadership abilities among poor and needy people.

In Livingstone’s Mwandi township, DAPP and RN have established SHGs under the Zambia Family South-Central programme known as ZAMFAM.

Hope Action SHG coordinator Clare Mbuzi says the group has 23 registered members but  only 20 were very active.

“We have two male members in our group and from January to date we have saved a total of K8,871,50 out of which K1,511 has been given out to members on a credit scheme,” Mbuzi says.

She adds that members occasionally make follow-ups as to encourage them to be active.

Mbuzi adds that through DAPP and RN, they have learnt how to write financial reports, and have enacted their own constitution.

“Apart from writing financial statements, we have also been educated on how to solve problems. One of the problems we have managed to sort out is the issue of meeting attendance as some members used only to come for meetings when they have personnel problems, but we have educated them that they can even come for a meeting when they don’t have money to pay for savings and that they can pay later,” Mbuzi says.

“Out of the SHG clubs we have been empowered to manage our homes financially and also be able to take our children to school. We even encourage each other over our businesses and with every borrowing, one has to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.”

And Luckness Katanga, coordinator of the Tugwashane (which in Tonga literally means ‘let’s help each other’), says she personally never used to do anything apart from being at home and waiting for her husband to provide for her family’s requisites.

Katanga says she now makes fritters which she sells to pupils and the general community.

She adds that her SHG has managed to save K2,480 after being trained in SHG concepts by DAPP and RN.

Katanga says K1,900 has been loaned out to her members who have to re-pay the loans with 10 per cent interest.

“We are 16 in our group and all have individual businesses and we help grow each other’s business by encouraging each other or through the provision of customers,” she says.

“We also have been taught on how to write in a coordinated manner and have also enacted our own constitution which must be followed by all members.”

And federation SHG coordinator Gertrude Simombela says her group has 14 active members and has since January raised K9,500.

She says the group had learnt a lot from DAPP and RN in terms of poverty eradication through savings and borrowing.

Simombela adds that like all the other clubs members have to pay K2 Social Fee which is used to cover expenses for general emergencies of a group member such as illnesses or funerals.

She says like all clubs, K10 monthly contribution is paid towards the growth of the SHG income which is given out as loans to members once they have repaid the outstanding credit.

“We all have a system of paying K10 as monthly contributions to the SHG pool fund and K2 every week as social fee. The clubs have all decided that we should be meeting once in a week so the Social Fee is paid at every meeting session. We have a leadership committee which includes a treasurer for accountability,” Simombela says.

She adds that each group is able to raise different amounts of money depending on membership and credit repayment rates.

Simombela says a lot of women in Mwandi are widowed or single mothers and that the introduction of SHGs has greatly mitigated poverty and helped reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

“A lot of women are widows and so the SHG system is a best means of one getting an income…we however, would be very happy if these groups can be assisted with an extra income either from DAPP, RN or any individual or organisation so as to help increase the capital base for the Save and Borrow System, so that we can also increase the amounts of loans we get which will in turn help us grow our small-businesses,”
Simombela says.

At the meeting, Lusumpuko’s SHG coordinator was not present to give the
vital statistics of the club.

And DAPP ZAM-FARM Livingstone project leader Abyshy Hachiwa says the women, armed only with knowledge from DAPP and RN, managed to be self-sustaining despite the low savings that they faced.

He also promises that DAPP will assist the SHGs by putting up a children’s playpark in Mwandi, resources permitting.

Mwandi SHG members

Mwandi SHG members


L/stone youth heads to Norway

Story as published in The Mast Newspapers-Zambia on May 16, 2018

LIVINGSTONE is improving with each national Judo league tournament, says Judo for  Fred coach Mama Hamoonga.

In an interview, Hamoonga said three players had won winning in their categories at the just ended contests held in Lusaka on Saturday. He said the next national league tournament will be at the Youth Community Training Centre (YCTC) in Livingstone on May 26.

“The lads are improving on a daily basis and with each national league tournament held the standards are getting higher and higher. I am happy that Felet Musonda who won the fight in the 44 kilogramme category has made it to the national team,” Hamoonga said.

She added that in the 30 kilogramme category Livingstone’s Judo for Fred judokas ended up fighting each other with Tabo Sitali losing to his team mate Fred Musonda.

“In the -25 kilogramme category Morrison Mwachiyaba was first while William Mulenga lost in the semi-finals of the 55 kilogramme category,” Hamoonga said.

She further noted that William Mulenga lost in the 55 kilogramme category while Costic Mainza and Mufalari Swembo all lost in their first fights.

Judo for Fred is financed by Norwegians through a non-governmental organisation Response Network.

Hamoonga further appealed to all Livingstone residents to turn up in numbers on May 26 to watch the national judo league at YCTC in Libuyu Township.

Response Network's Joseph Daka

Response Network's Joseph Daka