Inspiring Impact Challenge Runner Up Aims to Uplift Others
‘The Phakamile Mazibuko Foundation (PMF) is driven by God. I am just a servant living His purpose, and my purpose is to uplift others.’
These were the words of Master’s in Education student at UKZN and founder of PMF, Ms Phakamile Mazibuko, runner up in the Inspiring Impact Challenge.
The non-profit organisation aims to enhance the lives of young people through empowered engagements, workshops, and projects that focus on educational and social development.
As a high achiever who graduated with her Bachelors and Honours degrees in Education summa cum laude, Mazibuko said she was inspired to start her own foundation by her passion for education and rural development. ‘I am passionate about community engagement, particularly to enhance the livelihoods of young people so that they can reach their full potential, be better and do better.’
The foundation provides on-site school visits; academic mentoring and support; psychosocial support; and career guidance, and assists students with funding, accommodation and support services for Higher Education.
Born and bred in Ulundi in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mazibuko believes in shifting the narrative by putting women at the forefront of progressive movements and places of power. She said she entered the Challenge to showcase the work of her organisation and to encourage the UKZN community to be agents of change.
UKZN’s Inspiring Impact Challenge is an annual competition aimed at identifying change makers who are part of the University community by giving them an opportunity to showcase their organisation and compete for awards. The Challenge enables participants to expand their networks and build relationships and partnerships with various stakeholders.
Commenting on her organisation’s biggest achievements Mazibuko said: ‘The foundation has received great support from the public including various businesses, organisations and communities. Through our innovative strategies to raise capital and achieve financial sustainability, we have received a number of sponsorships and donations. This allowed us to increase the number of staff members, which contributes to addressing the issue of youth unemployment in South Africa.’
Mazibuko said she was very proud to have placed second, ‘I feel very honoured to have received this prestigious award. It has contributed significantly to the growth of PMF, and our drive to continue impacting more lives. It has also expanded our network as a foundation, and we have committed ourselves to collaborating and engaging with various organisations to implement innovative and impactful solutions in communities.’
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela