Engineering Master’s Student Aims for Miss Earth South Africa Title
UKZN Civil Engineering graduate Ms Mireesha Narsai is taking part in the Miss Earth South Africa Pageant 2016 - a leadership programme that encourages young women to make a difference in their communities with entrants judged on activities they have completed to make a change.
Relevant activities are in areas such as planting trees and vegetables, recycling, and teaching communities about climate change which is something Narsai says led to her entering the contest.
‘It is not like any other pageant and that is what I love most about it,’ said Narsai. ‘You’re judged by the work you do in your community, which always says a lot about your commitment. I want to make a positive impact in someone’s life and I feel I can do that through this event.’
Although she is busy with her Master’s degree in Biofluid Mechanics, Narsai is still able to do community work. She was the driver of the Miss Earth South Africa #wastestopswithme project in which she organised a clean-up at Addington Beach in Durban helped by friends and colleagues.
She also got her hands dirty planting trees and vegetables at Ingani Yami Children’s Village in Shongweni which she really enjoyed and valued. ‘Interacting with the kids, there’s never a dull moment! We get dirty, plant trees together, play, sing and take selfies. It’s always heart-warming seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and just doing things together.
‘Another big part about planting vegetables at the children’s village is that the school will have vegetables they can use to cook for the youngsters or even sell them to the community so that they can make a bit of profit for themselves,’ said Narsai. ‘With this project, the schools will always be able to plant and harvest their own vegetables for the benefit of the learners.’
Narsai stressed how the Miss Earth South Africa pageant had really pushed her into doing more than she thought she could. ‘I really appreciate how the contest has helped me reach out to my community so that more people will know how and what we can do to help fight climate change,’ she said.
In a field that is mostly dominated by men, Narsai hopes that she will be able to inspire young girls to become engineers. ‘Engineering, just like many other fields, is not easy but young women should think long and hard about what they want to do and, most importantly, have the courage to pursue their goals.’
The finals for Miss Earth South Africa are on 9 September.
To help Narsai raise money phone Miss Earth South Africa on 011-680 6650, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Mireesha, or follow Miss Earth South Africa on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.