Where some business school graduates nurse dreams of wealth and glory, Vimbiso Mashumba has been building health care systems to help women and children in Zimbabwe.
The young entrepreneur runs a rural clinic that combats high levels of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other HIV-related issues. She also co-founded a school-building program—Love Zimbabwe for Good—that raises support for education by building classrooms, providing textbooks and ensuring equal educational opportunities for children with disabilities.
“Zimbabwe’s future is in our children’s hands,” she wrote on the program’s Facebook page. “Let’s guarantee it by ensuring that they have access to basic education.”
A video of one of the schools can be seen on the group’s page.
Vimbiso now joins a select group of 500 young African leaders selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Obama launched YALI to support young Africans as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across the continent.
Vimbiso will take her fellowship studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The program runs from mid-June to mid-July. Twenty universities across the nation have signed on to the program. At the conclusion of the academic and leadership institute, all fellows will participate in a
presidential summit with Obama in early August.
Also among this year’s fellows are:
• Ejiro Sharon Okotie, a disability and women’s rights advocate from Nigeria who founded an NGO that gives vulnerable women and girls a voice through capacity-building and sexual and reproductive health rights training.
• Andrew Longwe, co-founder and CEO of Capital Financial Services, a youth micro-finance program in Malawi, who is also an accomplished entrepreneur, business coach and mentor.
• Israel Taye, a human rights lawyer from Ethiopia who is passionate about youth
empowerment, sustainability and environmental rights, and strives to promote youth voice through development forums across the continent.
• Thato Violet Mochone, an award-winning radio host from Lesotho who advocates for youth, women’s empowerment and LGBT rights in her community while using journalism and radio as tools to promote social justice.