January 12, 2014   by

ENSURE YOUR CHAMA RUNS SMOOTHLY IN YOUR ABSENCEIf you have founded a Chama, it is a big responsibility. Members will be looking for your advice. There will be members looking for your approvals and your permissions. There will be those looking to inform you about what is happening and then those who need to discuss ideas
with you. There will be a variety of other scenarios that are hard to imagine, but very much possible, where you are needed. As a result, being absent may be a difficult position. But absence is inevitable and sometimes you won’t be available to run the Chama. Thus you need to put a plan into place in case you are unable to run the Chama for a period of time.  This could be due to a number of reasons; an accident, a death in the family or illness.  So, even though you might not be physically present in your Chama for some time, follow these tips to still ensure that your Chama performs like a well-oiled machine.

Make sure you have someone filling in for you
This is the most important rule in Chama affairs. When you are the leader in a Chama, you always need a deputy who fills in for you in your absence. There will always be questions
that need to be answered when you are away because the Chama business doesn’t stop.

Leave your emergency contact number
If you are responsible enough for your Chama and your work, leave a contact number where you can be reached in case of emergencies. There will always be situations when your intervention will be required. At the same time make sure that these contact details will not be misused to disturb you during your absence.

Make members know you are not attending meetings
Make your members aware that you will be absent for a while. The last thing you want is your members to storm out Chama meetings because they don’t see you.  If your absence is because of valid reasons, they will surely understand.

Let the deputy-chairperson update you on a regular basis
If you are worried about how your Chama is functioning in your absence, make sure your deputy updates you on what is happening regularly. This will give you no jitters as you are well aware on what is happening. It will also let you stay on top of important developments in the Chama.  Staying in touch also builds an atmosphere of confidence amongst everybody.

Plan early
If you are planning to be away if it is not an emergency, make sure you plan well in advance. That way, backup plans can be put in place to cover for you. It will give you time to share your knowledge and expertise with your deputy. It will also help you prioritize projects, so that your absence doesn’t coincide with an important phase for the Chama.

Discuss with Chama members
A week before your planned absence make sure you discuss things with your deputy and members if you have any to set expectations. You need to be absolutely sure you have checked everything.

Be Accessible
Even if you are ill or are not physically present, you should be accessible by phone or email.  Your members need to be able to inform you of the latest happenings in the Chama; they will also be able to take important instructions from you.


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