Education has the power to change lives. It improves the quality of the human experience and gives us the tools we need to build new perspectives and overcome challenges. While education is about gathering the right kind of information, it is through education that information is transformed into knowledge. Monash South Africa student, Elizabeth Chidanamabwe, has a vision to enable communities by providing access to information.

Notwithstanding the lack of internet access, many communities also need the infrastructure and training to sustain this goal. Elizabeth’s The Internet for Allproject seeks to partner up with various organisations to provide internet access for those living below the breadline. The plan is to create fully-equipped, solar-powered resource centres that will give young people the opportunity to participate in the global arena. The project is aimed at providing equipment and technical skills while driving environmental sustainability.

“My dream is to help eradicate poverty in Africa and I believe that the best way to achieve this is by providing a solution that will help people to enable themselves. My Internet for All initiative aims at empowering communities through education,” said Elizabeth.

International Studies honours student, Elizabeth was one of only twenty-four young people chosen out of 600 applicants from around the world, to join the World Merit Fellowship programme for her excellent work with communities.  She has volunteered for the Ulwazi mentorship programme and currently serves in the governing body of the student volunteer group that runs the flagship Monash Saturday School, a tutor programme for the learners in local communities.

World Merit gives life-changing opportunities to young people who are making a significant change. The fellowship programme is a global network of students who work together to drive sustainable solutions. In July, Elizabeth spent a week travelling through the UK with the other ‘Agents of Change’ in celebration of World Merit Day where she met influential people like education activist, Malala Yousafzai. The group participated in open debates about climate change, gender equality, the economy, health and politics. This is all in preparation of their individual global action plans in New York and the White House in Washington, D.C. later in the year.

“Monash South Africa students are globally engaged and strive to have an impact in different spheres of society. Elizabeth is a prime example of the kind of leaders that we nurture and encourage to drive sustainable social change,” said Esther Benjamin, CEO of Monash South Africa.

As an institution of higher learning, Monash South Africa is committed to making a difference in the lives of people in surrounding communities by enabling students to grow as leaders.