Zambian humanitarian to address SMCC graduates Sunday

Chomba Kaluba, a former Southern Maine Community College student and Bates College graduate, will be the commencement speaker at SMCC’s ceremony Sunday.

This year’s graduating class of 1,000-plus is the largest in the school’s 66-year history, according to an SMCC announcement.

Chomba Kaluba (

Kaluba is the founder of the Kachlite Foundation, which promotes literacy and microfinancing to fight poverty in his home country of Zambia.

Sunday’s ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at the Cumberland County Civic Center, and no tickets are required to attend.

Kaluba seems like a truly inspiring young man. Here’s the bio information provided by the community college in advance of Sunday’s event:

Born in Zambia, Chomba Kaluba came to the United States in 2005 when two Peace Corps volunteers helped him become a student at SMCC. He continued his education at Bates College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2010. While still a student at Bates, Chomba established Kachlite (Catch-light) Inc., a Zambia-based organization that empowers communities to help themselves through sustainable microfinance projects and by promoting literacy as a tool to fight poverty. He is currently a student at the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Vermont, pursuing a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation and Sustainable Development. Chomba has twice received the national Davis Projects for Peace award, in 2008 for establishing a community garden in Tanzania and in 2010 for advancing a microfinancing and literacy program in Zambia. Chomba was a 2007 award winner in the Teens Who Care program, which honors Maine teens who volunteer their time and talents in the service of others. Chomba’s service to others is extensive and has been recognized by organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which named him Volunteer of the Year, and most recently the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, which named him a Paul Harris Fellow.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.