Despite the odds stacked against her, Brenda Mwale (24) has established herself within the education sector through pure determination, grit and hard work.
The village girl from Mponela, Malawi is now the founder of Mind Management Seminars, a game-changer organisation which equips primary and secondary school learners with skills and confidence.
Through interactive sessions and engagement, youth are instilled with tools intended to develop their positive outlook on life, irrespective of gender, education background, environment and family ties. The prevailing premise is that education is one of the fundamental pillars of any strong society and a powerful tool towards attaining the vision of development.
“With this initiative, I have managed to reach out to more than 20 000 students since I started in May 2016. Then I started offering free part-time classes to students who were facing challenges in their academics,” says Mwale proudly.
Currently, there are 60 learners from different classes.
The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources student assists learners who face financial difficulties by involving them in various agricultural activities. Youth are also encouraged to organise and participate in community projects, such as clean-up campaigns, tree planting activities and entrepreneurship.
It is through these projects that she emerged as one of the winners of a Future African Leaders Award in December 2017, by Future African Leaders Foundation.
“To all youths out there I encourage you to not let anyone talk you out of your dreams. Remain focused no matter how dark situations may appear or how long it might take for change to happen. Be able to help someone, it does not matter how minute the help may appear. Refuse to have self-centred dreams and visions, dream big and global,” she advises. “Think about others and make sacrifices for them. Be a voice for the voiceless and hope to the hopeless. Remember Africa will be built by Africans.”
“Growing up I had a passion to bring about positive change in my society. However, I felt incapable of doing this mostly because I come from a rural area. In this area youths are regarded as unproductive citizens, girls are stereotyped as prostitutes and boys are often associated with drug and substance abuse as well as theft,” Mwale states.
“I knew I was different. I would tell myself when I complete my education I will earn a substantial amount of money and do something for the youth in my community. Fortunately, I got to meet people who showed me that money is not everything there is to make a difference. I learnt that I could achieve so much by simply looking out for a need in my society and meeting it,” she says empathically.