The Zambian Association Community of Maine
The Zambian Association Community of Maine (ZACOME) held its first meeting in October 2021. The leadership team includes Noel Nyirenda, President; Annie Lawrence, Secretary; Simon Mutapa, Treasurer; Mulenga Mutapa, Vice President. The community is small at this point, with approximately 70 Zambians living in Maine, primarily in the greater Portland area. Recently arrivals have picked up slightly, with a few families moving to
Maine from other parts of the U.S. All Zambians are automatically included in ZACOME. The nonprofit formed because community members wanted to help each other thrive, and to have a voice and representation of some sort in the state.
Zambia was a British colony, so English is a second language, however many community members struggle to navigate life in the U.S. The nonprofit is developing partnerships with food banks, housing organizations, and job training programs, and is writing grants to try to help their community more. Goals include supporting community members in times of need, such as bereavement, and helping with college expenses.
The group held an event in October to celebrate Zambian Independence Day, and plans another event in the coming months, so community members can get to know one another better.