Spreading Good News about UKZN Initiatives Taken in the Spirit of Inspiring Greatness
UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division has launched an annual campaign aimed at spreading news about initiatives undertaken by the University community in the spirit of inspiring greatness, especially during these difficult times in a COVID-19-ravished world.
The aim of the new project is to tell real stories of how ordinary people take action to address social challenges, determined to make a difference.
Participants - alumni and students - were challenged to demonstrate how they are Inspiring Greatness through initiatives they are involved in anywhere in the world.
Special category prizes were on offer for the highest achievers.
UKZN alumnus Ms Gabriella Khawula won first prize with her project Teach Me, a non-profit initiative established to develop and reshape early childhood education through after-school tutorial programmes that supplement existing education in underprivileged schools. The content concentrates on moulding young learners’ minds and futures by bringing fun and vibrance into learning.
Teach Me identified the urgent need to assist and support the existing educational system which currently lacked the long-term ability to carry all learners through.
‘Our mission is to assist all learners with Mathematics and English to ensure they have a sound grasp of all necessary fundamentals, while supplementing their existing education with entrepreneurship, financial literacy, farming, and life skills,’ said Khawula
Fellow alumnus Ms Phakamile Mazibuko, who was second in the competition, heads the non-profit Phakamile Mazibuko Foundation which focuses on developmental initiatives to enhance the lives of young people, especially women.
Current student, Philisiwe Dlomo, third in the contest, is chairperson of the Youth Managers Foundation (YMF), an NPO focusing on the development of young change-driven leaders, through mentorship, career guidance and leadership development.
Said alumnus and competition organiser, Mr Kwazini Zulu: ‘It was exciting to finally launch the first instalment of this challenge which will now run annually. Our students and alumni at UKZN are doing some really incredible work to make a difference in our world.
‘It’s our privilege to work with them and the University in taking their initiatives to greater heights. We are really looking forward to what we have in the works for 2022.’
Designed to ignite the spark of community consciousness and encourage the spirit of outreach, innovation, collaboration and action through various initiatives, the project is poised to grow annually.
Executive Director, Corporate Relations Ms Normah Zondo congratulated the winners and lauded the initiative. ‘UKZN, in the top tier of leading universities in our country, has been determined for a long time to be community-focused through brilliant initiatives carried out by students, academics and alumni over the years.
‘Some of the initiatives require further support, exposure and resources to become sustainable. This presents an exciting opportunity for us as a leading University and our incredible partners to not only celebrate them but to propel them towards greater success in society,’ added Zondo.
Words: Rakshika Sibran
Photograph: Albert Hirasen