Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council marks Commonwealth Day with a call to Zomba

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council marks Commonwealth Day with a call to Zomba

Mon, March 08, 2021

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has marked Commonwealth Day with a special video call to Zomba in Malawi.

Making use of Zoom technology which has become part of our everyday life during the pandemic, Alderman Mark Fielding was able to connect with Gomezgani Nyasulu who spent a three-month placement with Council last year.

Gome works as an Environmental Health Officer at Zomba City Council, and his time here allowed him to share his experiences and gain valuable insights from his counterparts.

The Mayor was joined on the call by Head of Health and Built Environment Bryan Edgar and Senior Environmental Health Officer Alexis Gamble, who worked with Gome during his placement.

Speaking afterwards, the Mayor said: ‘On this Commonwealth Day I was delighted to be able to connect with Gome and find out what life has been like for him since he returned home last summer.

“He spoke highly of his experiences with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, and his time with us has proven to be hugely valuable to his working life. He has been able to put his learning and experience around emergency planning, food hygiene ratings and recycling into practice and this will greatly benefit his colleagues and the community in Zomba.

“As a Council we are very proud of our links with Zomba and Gome’s time with us shows the benefits and importance of this relationship. 'Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming' is the Commonwealth theme for 2021 and facilitating this type of shared learning directly supports this.”

During the call, Gome reflected on the ongoing challenges of the pandemic in Zomba, including the vaccination roll out and engaging public support around social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks.

Given the success of his time here, Gome is hopeful that he will be able to return again in more ‘normal’ times, something he said he was greatly looking forward to. His placement was made possible through funding provided by the Commonwealth Partnership Programme.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council established an international connection with Zomba City Council when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2017, marking the revival of a relationship initiated by the legacy Coleraine Borough Council in 2002.

The Zomba Action Project (ZAP), which takes the connection into the wider community, is a registered charity which has so far raised more than £900,000 for small projects in Zomba.

You can watch a short clip of the video call below.