In My Own Words: Imeldah Wamela

In this piece, Imeldah shares her career journey, from an eager graduate to a specialist leading a team and impacting farming communities.
Life at One Acre Fund

“How my passion grew my career”

Have you ever walked into a job interview unsure of what awaited you, only to discover your passion? That’s exactly what happened to Imeldah. When she interviewed with One Acre Fund, an organization new to her, she had no idea that she would find her passion for supporting farming communities through customer service. In this piece, Imeldah shares her career journey, from an eager graduate to a specialist leading a team and impacting farming communities.

Imeldah Wamela

Can you tell us about your career journey? What inspired you to pursue a career in agriculture?

I joined One Acre Fund after completing my university studies in human resources in 2014. I learned about the open role through a friend. When I arrived for the interview, there were 300 applicants! Fortunately, I was selected as one of the top 12 candidates. I began on contract as a user experience agent assigned to a major survey project. Later, my manager encouraged me to apply for a position in the Customer Engagement team. I gave it a shot, and landed the role. In this role, I manned the hotline to address farmer queries. My roles and rank have evolved through the years, allowing me to take on additional roles and responsibilities. Currently, I am the Contact Center Inbound Specialist – I now oversee the live call team, and our responsibilities have expanded to include managing social media and email inquiries.

In this role, I feel a strong connection to both the job and the broader organizational mission. In my work, I get to interact with farmers, listening to their concerns and wins and it is here that I get first-hand feedback on how One Acre Fund is making a difference in the lives of individuals, families and farming communities. This experience is incredibly rewarding and inspires me to continue working in the agricultural social impact space.

What has been your secret sauce to growing in your career?

If you ask anyone about me, they will tell you that I am a farmer advocate. Customer experience is a top priority for me, and I am committed to addressing farmer concerns in a timely and efficient manner. I always put farmers first in everything I do, and I have made it my mission to ask tough questions that protect farmers and create the most impact for them.

How do you feel your role directly impacts the farmers and communities we serve?

We are a farmer’s listening partner! My team and I serve as the primary contacts for farmers whenever they need assistance. It is essential that my team is well-equipped and fully informed about all of One Acre Fund's products and services so that we can effectively communicate the same to farmers when they reach out to us with questions. This approach helps us enhance the overall customer experience. Excellent service naturally leads to advocacy; a satisfied client often becomes a supporter. By consistently providing great service, we not only retain clients, but also positively impact our bottom line, allowing us to reach more farmers and make an even greater difference.

What do you enjoy most about working with farmers and supporting them in their endeavors?

Whenever I’ve gone to the field, the farmers I’ve met have had a wonderful welcoming spirit. When you visit them, they make you feel right at home. They view you as someone who can contribute to improving their livelihoods. I truly appreciate the connection we share; even though our visits are work-related, they will insist that you come into their house and share a meal with them and we always manage to connect and have a great time together.

Imagine your role in the Contact Centre is a superhero origin story. What's your hero name and how will you use your farmer support skills to save the day?

I would create a hero named CX-Champez, which stands for Customer Experience Champions. As CX-Champez, I will anticipate and foresee farmer challenges, develop prompt solutions and share the same with farmers right when they think of calling us.

Do you think One Acre Fund supports an inclusive culture?

Yes, I really enjoy how the staff relate with one another; we are always ready to help each other and come together for a common goal. One thing that the organization has done very well is putting in place policies that protect staff. This has made the organization inclusive to all genders and races. I have never felt that I am inferior to my male counterparts because I am a woman. All genders are empowered by these policies, and we actually go through an annual training session to refresh our memories and sign off with a promise to uphold the policies.

Imeldah at a staff team building event
Imeldah at a staff team-building event

What’s a piece of advice you wish someone had told when you were starting your career?

Consistency and patience are crucial, particularly for the emerging generation of professionals accustomed to fast results. It requires patience to master your skills, learn the ropes, and grow. Maintaining a consistent level of performance, along with patience, will help with your career development. Additionally, it is possible that your career might extend beyond what you initially studied. Take me for example, I studied HR but I found my passion in customer experience. Strive to learn new skills every day and continuously improve them. Your results and determination will become evident to others.



Staff profile