A voluntary note by Lee Goodrick, Software Engineer at Mobenzi

Some four years back, if you’d asked, I would’ve told you I’m a purely animal person. Today, my answer is different.

When leaving a till point with a handful of change, my default setting was to donate it to the SPCA – I paid no mind to the cancer research or TB fund jars standing a mere metre away. If you’d asked, I would’ve defended my opinion by saying that animals are helpless and humans are the cause of their suffering – a stance I’ve come to recognise as a little closed minded. Fast-forward a few years down the line, and Mobenzi has not only impacted society, but me personally.

I think most humans have the natural predisposition to feel empathy towards others. It’s in our nature to feel a sense of elation when helping others, whether directly or indirectly. I can recall the first moment, working at Mobenzi, when I realised that what we do truly makes a difference. I was working on a report for a client at the CDC, who dealt with the prevention of HIV transmission from mothers to children in Zimbabwe. In its closing, the project screened and monitored over 20,445 mothers and children over a 1.5 year period. While I’d been developing for Mobenzi for almost a year at that stage, it was my first wake up call to our impact. My contribution was indirect, but it left me thinking, “Wow, this is just one project…”

The project screened and monitored over 20,445 mothers and children over a 1.5 year period…it was my first wake up call to our impact.”

With this realisation, my mind’s eye was opened, and suddenly the word ‘work’ took on an entirely new meaning. My mindset shifted from, “It’s a job and I enjoy it”, to one of, “It’s my job and I love it.” I experienced elevated buy-in and investment not only into my work, but in the content of the work. More importantly, I wasn’t alone in thinking this, as I could see the same drive in my colleagues; a beautiful thing. If you want to find the definition of an effective team who love what they do, then you need not look further. What you get when you walk into the Mobenzi office is a bunch of nerds, passionate about what they do and in constant collaboration to make sure the job gets done.

“What you get when you walk into the Mobenzi office is a bunch of nerds, passionate about what they do and in constant collaboration to make sure the job gets done.”

In times of crisis, nobody stands alone.

In all my years working here, I can’t think of a time when someone failed to offer help to someone else who needed it – and happily, at the cost of their own time and energy. Not because they were asked to, but because it’s in our very nature to want to help.

“In all my years working here, I can’t think of a time when someone failed to offer help to someone else who needed it.”

Now extend this to trait to a company level: When you have workforce of people who want to help, you end up with a company that wants to help. A company made up of individuals who understand that their input helps maximise the potential for impact.

Recently, I worked on another report for a similar study being performed in Uganda. Being a geek and for my own interests’ sake, I wanted to see just how much data had been collected. A total of 101,532,470 Excel cells meant that over 101 MILLION data entry points had been collected since 2017. What makes it even more powerful, is that this data is going towards preventing the transmission of HIV to children.

What makes it even more powerful, is that this data is going towards preventing the transmission of HIV to children.”

Knowing the true impact of my contribution to the work, I can’t help feel good about what I’m doing. The effect of this impact is a significant driving force.

In closing, nobody asked me to write this – I chose to promote my company simply because we’re rad. I chose to share our story because it matters to me. I no longer only donate to the SPCA, as I’ve come to care more for my fellow human being. I learnt that the work I do, matters; the work my colleagues and friends do, matters.

I think there are few people who can say that their work makes a difference for the greater good, but that’s what you get when you embark on a technological journey with Mobenzi and its people: people who understand that what you do, matters.