Pilar travelled to Lusaka (Zambia) for 3 weeks to implement an accounting report, chart of accounts and the use of the accounting software. She taught the local team to use it - managing the reports and laying out the tools according to their needs - in order to provide accurate information and useful reports to the international NGO’s that are donors to this local African charity.
Pilar helped develop an internal control framework with Bank reconciliations, stock inventory, monthly report of revenue & expenses. In addition she created a new chart of accounts detailed by allocations in order to show accuracy of the performance, and enable the follow up of the activity.
Edusport is a development charity focused on working with people in the most disadvantaged of communities. The main pillars are leadership through sports, good health through prevention and education, genre equality and providing safe spaces to practice sport.
The Role of the Volunteer:
Pilar taught the staff to use of the accounting software for outlining and using financial reports per donor or project. She carried out bank reconciliations, updated the accounting books, obtained bank statements from the Zambian banks, visited the local banks, standardised the templates and shared folders within a new necessary internal control framework ensuring periodic reviews and approvals by director were given, following a proper segregation of duties
What was it like living and working in the local area?
It has been a profitable and exciting experience. I had travelled abroad before many times and to other continents, but neither of former experiences was as intense as this one.
I hoped to live a full immersion in another environment radically different to my comfort area and see what I could offer to others, especially in disadvantaged areas of the world. To help others and to prove to myself that I was able to live that adventure, I undertook this assignment. At the beginning, the lack of resources - like having to share a computer with more people in the charity - or the slow rhythm of work without the western stress, made it uncomfortable for me, or weird…but I easily got used to it.
I am now more self-confident, and versatile enough to work in other environments, in less favourable circumstances.
After few days volunteering in the charity, the computer - with the accounting system installed - caught a virus that disabled the operating system. I panicked, as i didn’t have many more resources… but finally i managed to find help coming from another charity where a friend i met was working. It took hours to recover the operating system... However, it had a happy end!
In Zambia, as in the majority of the South of the continent, there is not much leisure to enjoy, so I used to walk a lot every day just to see the lives people were leading. I went to bargaining and handcraft markets, spoke with the locals, but also I travelled to Livingstone to see the amazing Victoria Falls. I also crossed the border to Botswana to enjoy a wild safari, slept in a tent in savannah and sailed the great Zambezi River!