MAM at Scale’s Bernard Mpande and Sebastian Simpasa are the first winners of the Victor Simfukwe Award

On 9th December we held our annual Showcase to share the past year’s achievements with supporters and partners. The online event also saw us announce the winners of the inaugural Victor Simfukwe Award, created in memory of our friend and colleague Victor Simfukwe.

Victor was known for his sincerity, warmth, and passion for his work. The award in his name is our way of honouring Victor’s legacy by recognising those who have made an extraordinary contribution to Transaid’s mission over the past year.

Victor Simfukwe

The judging committee decided to award a ‘highly commended’ award this year in recognition of the strong field of candidates. The award went to Lloyd Mbasela, Executive Director of the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Zambia, which has been delivering driver training in partnership with Transaid since 2008. In 2020, Lloyd has made an exceptional contribution to  road safety in Zambia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

The joint winners of the Victor Simfukwe Award were Sebastian Simpasa and Bernard Mpande. Bernard and Sebastian are both Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) Officers working on the MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) at Scale programme in Zambia. This year the MAM at Scale team have risen to the challenge of the pandemic by adapting the programme to tackle both COVID-19 and severe malaria, reaching an incredible 400,000 people with their integrated response. In 2021 the programme is being scaled up further, as the team seek to reach between 700,000 to one million people in rural Zambia with their proven community-led programme.

Transaid CEO Caroline Barber commented on the significance of the award for Bernard and Sebastian, who had worked alongside Victor on the MAM programme: “They have had to step up this year and take on tasks that Victor would have led in the past. They have risen to the challenge. They work around the clock to make other people’s lives better. They work with passion, energy, humour and grace and are determined to take Vic’s legacy forward.”

“When I heard about winning the award, it was wonderful,” said Sebastian. “It means a lot to me because it makes me think of my late friend, Victor Simfukwe, as we labored together to make sure this intervention works so that children don’t die from severe malaria.

“It is an honour to win this award, and I’m deeply humbled,” Sebastian added.

“Winning the Victor Simfukwe award came as a surprise to me because I never realised that my contribution and work on ETS were being noticed by my colleagues on the project,” Bernard said.

“It means a lot to me. It has pushed me to work even harder so that my contribution and the project will succeed… Together we are saving lives.”

The winners were announced during the Showcase by Transaid’s Board Chair Jo Godsmark, who commented: “Bernard and Sebastian work tirelessly to ensure that rural committees have access to health facilities and services when they need it most.  This year they lost a dear friend and mentor and have responded by redoubling efforts, ensuring more communities have sustainable emergency transport systems, bicycle ambulance shelters, setting up food banks and saving schemes.”

We would also like to thank our corporate partners, BigChange, for supporting the Victor Simfukwe Award.

Well done to our winners and all those who were nominated this year. We hope that the 2020 Victor Simfukwe Awards has inspired you and don’t forget to nominate people next year who are making exceptional contributions to furthering Transaid’s mission.

A full list of the nominees can be found below.


Victor Simfukwe Award Nominees 2020


 Bernard Mpande and Sebastian Simpasa – ETS Officers, MAM at Scale

Bernard and Sebastian were nominated for their outstanding work on the MAM at Scale programme, supporting ETS riders in three districts, setting up food banks, and sharing COVID-19 prevention messages far and wide. This year they have helped the programme to reach over 400,000 people. They have worked with communities and the project team to establish community savings schemes and build shelters for bicycle ambulances. Despite the tough competition, the committee decided that the sheer number of things they achieved this year set them apart.


Lloyd Mbasela – Executive Director, Industrial Training Centre (ITC)

Lloyd was recognised for his commitment to Transaid’s road safety programmes, hisexceptional work developing the partnership between the ITC and Transaid and readiness to take on new initiatives that benefit the people of Zambia and beyond.


Azere Albert Banda – Head of Training, Industrial Training Centre (ITC)

Albert was nominated for taking on a new role coordinating both Transaid and ITC activities. His work on the ITC’s defensive driving programme for Zambia’s Medical Stores was highlighted as one of his biggest successes and his work in Sierra Leone training motorcycle riders was also appreciated.


Caroline Barber – CEO, Transaid

Caroline was nominated for the dedication and passion she brings to her work as Transaid CEO. She was recognised for her contagious enthusiasm and leadership abilities.


Cathy Green – Senior Technical Advisor, MAM at Scale

Cathy was nominated for her exceptional contribution to the MAM at Scale programme, and was recognised for going above and beyond to ensure its success. The committee also commended her for leading Transaid’s anti-trafficking work this year.


Dennis Simuyuni – Operations Manager, MAM at Scale

Dennis was nominated for his work on the MAM at Scale programme, particularly his contribution to the programme’s activities at the national level with the Zambian Ministry of Health and other stakeholders.  His work ethic and responsible manner was appreciated by the committee.


Elena Leonard – Communications Officer, Transaid

Elena was nominated for her work in the fundraising team, ensuring regular and clear communications throughout the pandemic and finding new ways to engage supporters during the lockdown.


Florence Bearman – Head of Fundraising, Transaid

Florence was nominated for her commitment and passion in her work leading Transaid’s fundraising team and for embodying the values of Transaid.


Guy Heywood – Sales Director, Hankook

Guy is a Transaid Ambassador and keen cycle challenge participant. Despite the postponement of out Cycle Malawi challenge, Guy has been tireless in his efforts to support Transaid by taking on multiple grueling challenges over the year to raise funds and awareness.


Mike Wilson

Mike was nominated for his outstanding commitment and support to Transaid. During his time working in the transport and logistics industry, Mike was a keen champion of road safety. He is also a committed Transaid cyclist, most recently covering the Cycle Malawi distance in five days to raise money for Transaid.


Sam Clark – Head of Programmes, Transaid

Sam was commended for his commitment to building strong partnerships and relationships with other organisations on the ground, as well as his leadership overseeing Transaid’s programmes.


Seawell Kamponje – Bicycle Ambulance Production, Disacare

Seawell was recognised for his outstanding work supporting the repair and maintenance of MAM at Scale bicycle ambulances. Siwell has constrained mobility, and works from a wheelchair. The committee recognised him for breaking down barriers through his dedication to his own work, as well as his support and encouragement to others.


Susan Tumuhairwe – Project Coordinator , COVID-19, Professional Driver Training Project Uganda (PDT-U)

Susan was nominated for her outstanding contribution to PDT-U’s COVID-19 response. As well as helping research, develop and distribute many of the project’s materials, Susan has provided support in the field to local partners.