Professional Development Trips Where the Mission Field Meets Your Field of Expertise

Serving abroad isn’t just for college students, it’s for working professionals too.

Professional Development Trips are arranged for professionals to provide training workshops in their field of expertise to indigenous staff in Zambia and India. These workshops seek to increase the training of the local staff and to give them tools to  build on the capacity of what they are already doing. Workshops can also be held for recipients of project services as is applicable.

If you are interested in leading a workshop and would like to see if it is a good fit, please send us an email at

June 2015: Best Small Business Practices – Dr. David Duby

Dr. David Duby led a week of management training and business consultation with more than 60 Zambian workers who seek to develop sustainable income through independent enterprises such as cloth making, handcrafted jewelry, and growing peanuts and producing peanut (nut) butter.

See in the news here –

 February 2016: Community Savings and Loan – Sarah Gross

Missionary Sarah Gross met with more than 60 women for 1 month teaching community savings and loan curriculum and conducted needs assessments for building on the capacity of current economic empowerment programmes.

October 2016: Fashion as Mission – Tori Neales

Tori taught two 4 day sewing workshops to roughly 60 women teaching them to use the sewing machines CoLaborers received from grants (Chestertown Rotary and the Weiders) for the purpose of sustainable economic empowerment. Tori taught them to make several products for personal use or to sell in the local market to support their families and the street children they take in. The women were very enthusiastic about the training and learned to make throw pillows, aprons, purses, bags and other items.

See in the news here –

See in the news here –

See in the news here –

October 2016:  Skills Training and Mentoring for Older Zambian Street Youth – Bob Neales

Bob  worked with some of the older street youth to teach carpentry as a vocational skill, along with Chisomo’s carpenter Josphat Phiri. They did repairs at the overnight shelter including building a new wall partition for the girls dorm and reframing 6 doors, and projects at the drop-in center – building cornhole games for youth outreaches, a dining room table and shelving. Bob mentored 4 of the older boys while doing these vocational projects – showing the value of mentoring both vocationally and spiritually.

July 2017: Fashion as Mission – Tori Neales, Bailey Neales, Sarah Blanke & Katelyn Verbeke

Tori Neales returned to Zambia this year for another professional training for the women of the Mothers’ Programme and the older street youth. This time, joined by her daughter Bailey and by 2 fashion students from Liberty, Sarah Blanke and Katelyn Verbeke. Tori, Bailey, Sarah and Katelyn worked with Josephine, local leader of the Mothers’ Programme, to teach an advanced skills sewing workshop to the 60 women in the programme. Women learned how to make stuffed animals, dresses, hand bags, necklaces and shirts to sell at the local market in Lusaka as well as in our online store –

“Getting the chance through CoLaborers to teach and learn from the women in the Mothers’ Programme at Chisomo Centers taught me more about the Lord’s heart for His people – all of His people and the various ways in which they worship Him and rejoice in His name.” – Sarah Blanke

“My experience with CoLaborers was unforgettable and the Lord used it to not only help the women in Zambia but also reveal Himself to me in many ways.” – Katelyn Verbeke


July 2017: Skills Training and Mentoring for Older Zambian Street Youth – Bob Neales

Bob Neales returned to Zambia to do another skills training with older street boys and repaired Chisomo’s facilities. He and local leader Josphat worked with the boys to build a very large wall in the kitchen as well as paint inside and outside the overnight shelter and drop-in center. They built 2′ x 3′ shelving for the boys to store their clothes and shoes. They built a basketball backboard for both locations. Bob also did mentoring by teaching the boys some basic boxing techniques. He brought boxing gloves, jump ropes and bought a punching bag for the boys.

August 2018:Advanced Sewing & Carpentry – Tori and Bob Neales 

For the 3rd year in a row, Bob and Tori Neales have served with us in Zambia. Bob does mentoring and carpentry work with the older boys who were living on the streets formally and Tori works alongside Josephine to teach sewing lessons at Chisomo Centers.  Women in Chisomo’s Mothers’ Programme are taught seamstress skills to supplement their income so they can care for their families and the street children they take into their homes. The women make and dye cloth and then learn to make products to either sell on the local market place, reduce their costs by them making their own clothing or sell in the US through our Etsy shop. This year, Tori and Josephine taught a total of 50 women. Their projects included how to make stuffed animals – elephant, giraffe, or a zebra.  They learned to design and create their own over the shoulder bags, made skirts, aprons, and men’s shirts.  Through the generosity of donors, they received an additional five sewing machines this year.