It has been and emotional time here at iLab lately as Kate Cummings, the warm and inspirational co-founder and director of iLab has been transitioning out of Liberia. As the new incoming director, I have greatly enjoyed the three weeks that we have been able to work face-to-face – getting to know iLab and its users, collaborators and donors.
On March 22, Friday, tens of people gathered at iLab for a chance to meet and talk together before Kate was set to leave. It turned out to be a very emotional evening, during which we had plenty of laughs and what seemed like a river of tears shed. A great many testimonies were spoken out by the fine people from the various organizations we’ve had the pleasure of working with. For me, it was a very important and insightful evening as I was witnessing first-hand the accounts of people describing the impact iLab has had on them or their organizations. Many memorable moments from the last years – from 2010 and 11 onwards were shared, reminding us of the hard work Ushahidi, iLab and all their users have done in the past.
Luckily we, the staff had a few more days together before Kate’s departure – delayed due to circumstance until March 29. We were also fortunate to have the other co-founder John Etherton join us for two weeks, meaning that the staff had a good chance to exchange knowledge, pick up some new skills and all in all work as a team together, face-to-face. We also had a chance to spend some time together just talking about personal matters as well as naturally exchanging some farewell and welcoming gifts.
Many of the collaborators were asking how to be in touch with Kate in the future. Rest assured, she will be keeping eyes on iLab as she is on the Board of Directors of iLab and formally the Treasurer of iLab International. She can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We, the remaining staff of iLab in Liberia, wish Kate all the best in future challenges. We are certain that whatever paths she decides to take up, she will be successful and make a great impact, just as here in Liberia. Meanwhile, we are motivated to keep fulfilling the mission of iLab Liberia and are very much looking forward to Kate’s next visit here to see how things have evolved since. Let’s make sure she is proud of us!
Deep bow of respect and a thank you once again, Kate.