Mary Lundeba, Beth’s aquaculture trainer in Kitwe for Peace Corps in Fall 2001, said “I actually love teaching so much that’s how come I have identified myself with Peace Corps as a trainer.” On an EBZEF scholarship Mary received her Master of Science degree from the University of Malawi in August 2005, one of the first to graduate from the new Aquaculture and Fisheries Science program.
The high quality of her work earned Mary a teaching fellowship to Penn State University for a PhD in Fisheries Science. After “three years of hard work to achieve my goal,” Mary graduated as a Doctor of Fisheries Science in August 2009. She has returned to Zambia to be with her sons Terrah and Terry. Mary added, “It has always been my desire to give back to the community because it is the community that has seen me this far. I always remember where I come from. With the problems facing my country right now I may be part of the solution. That’s why I must return and see what I can do towards the development of my country.”
Mary is grateful to family, friends and two PEO scholarships for the support which has made her accomplishment possible. “Thank you to EBZEF and to all the donors that are contributing to this project. My achievement has been your achievement, so you can see the fruits of your efforts today.” Mary is an excellent role model for Beth’s Girls in their quest for education. “I would love to be a source of that inspiration As you are aware, African women are less privileged people, but they need to know that the sky could be the limit.”
Mary’s advice to Beth’s Girls
“I’m very proud of you that you are actually forging ahead. I encourage you to work hard to achieve your goal and want to inspire you that you can achieve anything, you can be anyone you want to be. Just like me--I never expected that one day I would be a doctor. And here I am today, a doctor of fish, because I’ve actually forged ahead and have used all the resources that the donor community has given me to work out my future.“
Mary's Work Today
Mary is working as an Aquaculture Scientist for the WorldFish Center in Lusaka, Zambia. She reports that “the new project I am working with under WorldFish is known as Aquaculture Technical, Vocational, and Entrepreneurship Training for Improved Private Sector and Smallholder Skills Project (Aquaculture TEVET). The overall objective is to link the smallholder fish farmers to the private sector to improve the input/output market for improved fish production and productivity among smallholder fish farmers.”
Mary instructing fish farmers
Here Mary is “demonstrating how to feed fish with commercial feed. This was at the fish farm of the smallholder farmer in the orange T-shirt. He is the breeder farmer and I was basically explaining the breeding techniques to him and his family members. This is an effort to increase the availability and improve the accessibility of fish seed in rural areas.”
WorldFish celebrates the efforts of the first Zambian Female Aquaculture PhD Scientist, Dr Mary Lundeba, a Doctor and Mother of Fish, always ready for the ponds. She has worked tirelessly and passionately in developing the smallholder fish farming sector and is currently working to improve their technical knowledge and skills via the #AquacultureTEVET, lead by #WorldFish and Partners. Mary was a featured speaker at the Annual International Conference and Exposition of the World Aquaculture Society in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017 as a representative of WorldFish.
As a first EBZEF Beth’s Girl, Mary affirms that “this project [EBZEF] is upon my heart.” She understands her importance as a role model for other women in Zambia. “The legacy of Elizabeth Bowers, wanting to give a helping hand to the less privileged, and bringing about economic and social development, still moves on! Now across the Zambian borders to Angola where Aquaculture has not taken off yet, I have successfully established the first fish farm and am now working on the second. It gives a good feeling to see the results of my work!”
World Vision Zambia (WVZ)
Prudence Masanyinga, EBZEF’s first Beth’s Girl high school graduate, completed a two-year Certificate program in Community Development Studies plus an 18-month Advanced Diploma in Rural and Urban Management from Chalimbana Government Training Institute in Lusaka. She returned to the village of Lumwana West to help other Beth’s Girls continue their education and to work with the new Lunga Area Development Program of World Vision Zambia in the NW Province.
Prudence takes her position as role model for Beth’s Girls seriously. She served both as translator and as facilitator for her “Bethie Gals” when we visited Lumwana West. Prudence has worked hard to fulfill her scholarship contract with EBZEF to “give back to the village.” She encourages Beth’s Girls to pursue their education beyond the limits of the community. “Most of our parents in rural areas believe that educating a girl child is a waste of money. She won’t do anything in the future. So I want them to learn from me and from Beth’s Girls that educating girls is also important. They can bring development to society.”
Prudence worked for World Vision Zambia (WVZ) as a Social Development Worker in Lumwana West village. She is EBZEF’s premier role model as the first Beth’s Girl to graduate from secondary school, to succeed in an extended tertiary program, and to be hired to work with the development of her own people. Prudence continued her education with a distance learning program for a sociology degree from Mulungushi University. She now lives and works in Mwinilunga and is the proud mother of Little Gerry, Gerry Bowers’ namesake, and Baby Goodson, named after Prudence’s beloved older brother and friend of EBZEF who was lost due to a lightning strike.
Prudence in Elizabeth Bowers Memorial Library
Early Childhood Literacy
Dianah in Elizabeth Bowers Memorial Library
Dianah Masumbah, one of EBZEF’s first Beth’s Girls, completed her exams in December 2010 and graduated in May 2011 with a diploma for teaching primary school from Solwezi College of Education. With a grant from the Columbia River Peace Corps Association, EBZEF hired Dianah from January-March 2011 to develop an Early Childhood Literacy Program through the Memorial Library.
This was the beginning of a pre-school program in the village which has continued successfully under the auspices of Beth’s Girls from Lumwana West. With assistance from Lumwana West Basic School teachers and instructional visits from Tamara Weiss, doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota in Early Childhood Development, EBZEF has created a viable three-year pre-school program for the community.
Dianah is now married, has two children, and is teaching at Kanyikezhi Primary School where her husband, Mark, is headmaster in a village about 28 kilometers from Lumwana West.
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