Mukupa and Chad Harrod (MSW '15)
Mukupa Musonda Harrod and her husband, Chad, met during their MSW studies in the Diana R. Garland School of Social work (Mukupa as a GML Scholarship Recipient). Upon earning their degrees in 2015, they relocated to Ndola, Zambia to work in administration at Northrise University, a private Christian institution with a budding Social Work program.
But recently, in their commute to and from work, they noticed a chronic population of “street boys.” They observed that while many seemed motivated to find work, often offering to wash windows at stop lights, others seemed less open to engaging. As certain faces became more and more familiar, Mukupa and Chad felt compelled to know and do more.
They began meeting with boys willing to talk, sharing a meal and asking questions about the persistent challenges facing these young men that may have either put them in their precarious situation or made mobilizing out feel impossible. Many are orphans or runaways escaping abuse who find living on the streets with a group of peers in similar situations safer than enduring at home.
With their knowledge of and affection for these boys ever expanding, Mukupa and Chad are currently exploring how to bring relief to this aching population. As Social Workers, they approach the lived experience of those willing to share with curiosity and are conscientious of the ways in which they might be able to offer more than just a meal to this community. Within the Social Work profession, practitioners know the value of observation and research when learning about a crisis facing a population or community. As with all societal challenges, they are often complex and layered, not coming with a ready-made solution. But this does not stop Chad and Mukupa hope to take the encouragement and advice offered by their peers back to their community as they consider building out more formal programs, grounded in both compassion and wisdom, to support these boys.