Features In focus

Felix Ngoma’s humanitarian work

By KELVIN KACHINGWE
WHEN you hear Felix Ngoma, who was recently abducted and later released by the Janjaweed in Darfur, South Sudan, talk about continuingwith his humanitarian work, you get to understand why.
His life’s work has been dedicated to humanitarian work since 1989.
He has been to some of the most trouble-torn countries, and seen the need for humanitarian work.
“If you see the suffering which goes on out there, then you understand the need for humanitarian work,” he says.
Mr Ngoma’s turf has largely been the African continent. You can say he is a friend of refugees.
He was among the first persons to work at Ukwimi Refugee camp in the Eastern Province that housed Mozambican refugees following the armed conflict between RENAMO (Mozambique Resistance Movement) and FRELIMO (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique).
The refugee camp was set up in 1987 and hosted over 20,000 Mozambicans for nearly a decade. After the repatriation of Mozambican refugees, it evolved into a government-run agricultural resettlement scheme until its reopening as a refugee camp for Angolan refugees in 2001.
Mr Ngoma, who started work in the Eastern Province provincial planning unit in 1986 before being seconded to Save the Children US as a social development officer, worked at the camp until 1993 when the first repatriation of Mozambican refugees took place.
Thereafter, Mr Ngoma, who has skills in logistics, politics, coordination, budgeting, planning, governance, policy, government, non-governmental organisations, international development, programme management, stra-tegic planning, negotiation, fundraising, strategy development, conflict, non-profits, international relations and team building, went to Canada for his higher education having previously attended Katete Secondary School.
While at school in Canada, Care Canada spotted him, and after his graduation, he was offered a job at Care Zambia, whose offices were in the light industrial area in Lusaka. He worked there for about a year.
While in Canada, he had a South African colleague who upon his return to his country became a senior civil servant. At that time, the then Euro-pean Commission (EC