My name is Agness Shikabi. I was born in Kabwe, Central Province of Zambia. I come from a Christian Family. I am a baptized Catholic. I started grade one in 1997 at Angelina Tembo Girls School, a mission school run by the sisters of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate.
My leadership experience started while at school, in grade ten, when i was appointed by the school management council, to take up responsibilities of ensuring my fellow pupils were on time at school, and in their right uniforms. In grade eleven, a year before I completed high school, I was appointed religious prefect, a title which demanded of me to organize the pupils every morning for prayers, and Bible sharing every Wednesday afternoon. In my final year, I was chosen as Deputy Head girl, acting as a link between the teachers and my fellow pupils.
After high school, I took a six-month course in Hypertext markup language and on completion, worked as an IT specialist. A few months before getting admitted to the university I stopped working and enrolled in a month-long psychosocial counseling, followed by an internship at Kabwe General Hospital, which lasted for another month.
I joined the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Zambia, and in my 2nd year, was quartered for a Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources Management, marking the beginning of my environmental journey. The programme helped me to have a much broader understanding on issues of climate change, environmental degradation, global warming, food security, weather induced flooding and famine, which are of everyday concern to humanity today.
In my 3rd year of studies, I met Mr. Allen Ottaro, who at the time was in Zambia to help in the formation of Magis Zambia, a Jesuit-sponsored young adult program. Through interacting with him, I learnt about CYNESA in depth, and expressed my desire to join the organization.
Since that time, I have been part of the CYNESA family, which has given me many opportunities to participate in various environmental leadership training, both within and outside my country. The most recent one is the Faith Leaders’ Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) Program, offered by the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute, which ran in 2014 through 2015.