supports Lusaka Helps with 0% commission- buy their fundraising packages online

Sara Drawwater
11 June 2020
Support Lusaka Helps, a group of normal people that came together and took practical action to help those affected by COVID-19 in Zambia supports Lusaka Helps with 0% commission— buy their fundraising packages online today

“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results” — best selling author, Ifeanyi Onuoha.

Lusaka Helps is a story of a group of normal people that came together and took practical action to help those affected by COVID-19 in Zambia. Can you join this citizen led movement by buying a fundraising package today?

Lusaka Helps volunteers in action is working with Lusaka Helps through a 0% commission partnership designed to help them raise funds for their vital work more efficiently.

The launch of our online shop happened to coincide with the rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19. We now have the ability for people to buy online and make payments through So we thought, “Why not enable an organisation like Lusaka Helps to ‘sell’ their fundraising packages so that people like you and me can easily support those in need?”

Caroline Elliot, Lusaka Helps Fundraising and Finance Lead said, “Best of Zambia is a great platform to find out about everything in Zambia from hotels to gyms and everything in between. It is thus an honour to be included. By waiving their subscription fee and forfeiting their commission, Best of Zambia has been very generous and supportive of us. We hope that by working with them, we will be able to get more partners and thus be able to reach more people in the fight against COVID-19.”

Scaling up social good with efficient online payments

I read that Michelle Chimuka, Co-founder of Lusaka Helps is passionate about scaling up social good. This partnership is an example of that. Individuals can fund a community care package from as little as K187 or 10 meals for front-line health workers for just K495. Whether you can fund 1 or 100 community care packages, your purchase of a Lusaka Helps fundraising package will be so appreciated.

At the same time, organisations can get practical with their Corporate Social Responsibility by making a simple online transaction for the production and distribution of thousands of face shields, masks, meals or community care packages.

Just as you would browse an online shop and choose what you want to buy, supporters of Lusaka Helps can choose to fund face shields, masks, meals or community care packages, or even a mix of these. You can choose how many to fund and pay through with a Zambian VISA Card, Mastercard or MTN Mobile Money (more payment options coming soon).

We believe this partnership scales up social good by making it easy for you to see what fundraising packages you can buy and how much of an impact each package has. You are empowered to choose to fund causes that resonate with you. Through online shopping technology, the process is easy and efficient for you and the fundraising organisation.

What’s more, as the range of products on online shop expands, you can fill your basket with your own shopping and support a good cause at the same time — how powerful is that?

Ensuring your money goes a long way

The best part is that since is not charging a commission, all funds raised will be transferred to Lusaka Helps.

For transparency, there is just one cost to cover which is a 3.9% transaction fee which is outside our control. However, we’ve stripped back all costs we are in control of, so with 0% commission and a Lusaka Helps team that is 100% volunteer run with no administrative costs to cover, your money will go a long long way. We’ve also discovered that the Lusaka Helps team is extremely thrifty! For example, the team buy maize and have it milled rather than buy mealie-meal which is a cheaper and healthier option. Despite the extra effort for their volunteers this is the kind of thing they do to make sure they get the best value for money.

What your money can help achieve

Since we approached Lusaka Helps, asking how we could support them in May, we have come to understand how a small team of visionaries mobilised Zambians to work together in response to COVID-19.

So far, Lusaka Helps have,

  • Produced and distributed approximately 26,000 face shields to front-line staff in all ten provinces across the country
  • Produced and distributed 38,000 masks to health facilities across Lusaka as well as in Kafue, Kabwe, Chipata and up the trucking route to Nakonde
  • Produced and distributed 9,900 masks for communities like schools and prisons
  • Arranged and delivered 2,222 meals to front-line staff
  • Arranged and distributed 129 Community Care Packages supporting approximately 380 people

When you buy a Lusaka Helps fundraising package through you will be donating your funds to vital COVID-19 related work. The efficient transfer of funds will quickly have a direct impact to health workers, people struggling to help ends meet and people learning to live with COVID-19 right here in Zambia.

Adapting to a new normal

As we settle into a new normal that involves living in a world that demands social distancing and minimised human contact, all of the Lusaka Helps initiatives remain relevant to maintaining our new normal.

  1. To adapt to the new normal, we need information on how to do so, something Lusaka Helps have been active in.
  2. We need to have masks and shields particularly in high risk environments like hospitals. As the Government operates national temperature checks and two weeks of isolation for those with symptoms, healthcare workers are still at the forefront of COVID-19. As our lives return to ‘normal’, theirs have not. They are still away from their families for long periods of time and facing the risk of the virus. They need our continued support. If you are able to support our health workers, you can buy face masks, face shields or meals for front-line health workers.
  3. The economic impact of COVID-19 is ongoing. Families are struggling with the fallout of COVID-19 and are unable to make ends meet. Many people have been laid off or are earning significantly less. This has a knock on effect as they then no longer have the resources to feed themselves, their extended families or support other informal businesses. Thus people who were already struggling have been set back even further by the impact of COVID-19. People need our support now more than ever. If you are able to support someone in need, you can buy a community care package here.

How this partnership came about

As our teams in Zambia and the UK adjusted to life in lockdown, remote working and school and nursery closures, Lusaka Helps founders and volunteers were already in action.

Lusaka Helps and their good work came up in two separate conversations between myself and our clients, Bernice Kilburn of Moringa Initiative and Anita Balletto of A to Z Solutions.

Humans are facing a tough time. Natural disasters, wars, questionable Governments, COVID-19 and racism are leaving their mark on human lives, economies and our planet. Rather than sit back and let someone else help, we feel a calling in our hearts to step up and take action. This is not a time for waiting for better days, ‘when we can’, this is about doing what we can right now.

We decided to get creative with our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility because, as a self made, start from nothing, family business that is constantly reinvesting our earnings back into, we are not yet in a position to donate money. This partnership came about because we wanted to find a way to help right now, rather than wait for the day when we can contribute through direct funds.

It began with an email, “Dear Lusaka Helps team, I just wanted to reach out to commend you for the wonderful practical and very real work you are doing through Lusaka Helps. I and my team want to support your work… Please let me know if there is anything you think we can do to help communicate, raise funds, tell your story, tell the story of the people you are reaching…”

One phone call and circa circa 55 emails later, we are launching today! We’re calling on you to use our new online shop to buy a Lusaka Helps fundraising package that will support a person affected by COVID-19 today.

The Lusaka Helps leadership team

So let’s meet the team! Note that this is just the leadership team. Lusaka Helps also have an army of volunteers shopping, packing, distributing, designing, sewing, writing and making all kinds of amazing things happen.

From left to right, Michelle Chimuka, Lusaka Helps Co-founder; Sylvia Sichone, Community Care Packages Lead; Kate Bridges, Lusaka Helps Co-Founder

Michelle Chimuka

  • Lusaka Helps Co-Founder and Co-ordinator, Content and Graphics Lead
  • Day job — Student, Social Entrepreneur and Consultant
  • “I believe in the collective power of the human spirit and what better time to harness this than when the whole world is in crisis.”

Sylvia Sichone

  • Community Care Packages Lead
  • Business owner also studying a Masters in Food Security and Education
  • “I have a strong interest in food security. I’m excited to be involved with the Community Care Packages initiative of Lusaka Helps as this sits squarely with my passion to ensure that all Zambian’s have the ability to weather the devastating economic effects caused by COVID19.”

Kate Bridges

  • Lusaka Helps Co-Founder and Co-ordinator, Social Media and Communications Lead
  • Day job — governance specialist working with the World Bank
  • “I volunteer with Lusaka Helps because I believe in facts over fear and in the power of citizens to drive change”

From left to right, Julie Doherty, Operation Mask Up Lead; Caroline Elliot, Fundraising and Finance Lead; Regina Mtonga, Social Media and Communications Lead

Julie Doherty

  • Operation Mask Up Lead
  • Day job — Akros Country Director
  • “I’m a public health professional — as such, I understand the impact and value of well-timed health prevention efforts. I’m doing what I can while I can, to help protect the community from the impact of the Coronavirus.”

Caroline Elliot

  • Fundraising and Finance Lead
  • Day Job — Senior Projects Manager at BBC Media Action
  • “I am passionate about social justice and the power of people and communication to bring about change.”

Regina Mtonga

  • Social Media and Communications Lead
  • Co-founder and Director of Asikana Network, an organisation that seeks to increase the meaningful participation of women and girls in technology.
  • “I like volunteering with Lusaka Helps due to the diverse group of people we have, of varying backgrounds and expertise who share a passion to quite simply put it — help.”

From left to right, Neha Bhadari, Feed Our Heroes Lead; Louann Chalcraft, Social Media and Correspondence Lead; Albert Manasyan, Face Shields Lead

Neha Bhadari

  • Feed Our Heroes Lead
  • Day job — public health and project management
  • “I am passionate about animals and social justice!”

Louann Chalcraft

  • Social media and Lusaka Helps Correspondence Lead
  • Day Job — Administrator, Lilayi Real Estate

Albert Manasyan

  • Face Shields Lead
  • Assistant Professor with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Head of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH) Department at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ).
  • “I’m passionate about newborns and children and — skipping a decade — working in the field of youth empowerment such as education, career, community projects, research, innovations…”

Support Lusaka Helps today

View the Lusaka Helps online shop. Please buy a fundraising package today — small or large — your funds will have a positive impact on a real human being today.

Having launched in March, online shop is relatively new. Here are two guides you may find useful.

Overall, the process is simple — put a Lusaka Helps fundraising package in your basket, follow the steps to make a payment (via VISA card, Mastercard or MTN Mobile Money) set up an account with us and select Store Pickup (even though there is nothing for you to pick up) and then Lusaka Helps will receive the funds and take action.

Here’s to scaling up social good!