This year, Zimbabwean science teacher Nkosana Butholenkosi Masuku won the prestigious Cisco Youth Leadership Award, which comes with a cash prize of $250,000 (R4.6m).
To make science, technology, and engineering (STEM) courses available to rural students, he launched Phenomtech-Sciency.
“Sciency was started because when I was teaching in rural areas, I realised it was difficult for learners to comprehend practical science subjects. This was due to lack of [study] aid materials.
The advantage of teaching them practicals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) is that it enables learners to retain their knowledge thereby reducing the dropout rates,” Masuku said as he accepted the award in New York this week.
Masuku is an alumnus of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
His award is part of Global Citizen’s effort to honour young leaders spearheading change through innovative means in their localities.
“Stem education is critical for opening doors of opportunity and Nkosana’s vital work utilising innovative technology to offer Stem learning to rural schools across Zimbabwe is transformative,” said Fran Katsoudas, a representative of Cisco.
“Investing in education reaps a lifetime of benefits, not only for children but also for their communities. The work of young leaders like Nkosana is helping to usher in a more inclusive future by empowering youth in Africa and around the world to thrive in the digital economy.”
The Global Citizen awards, hosted by Nomzamo Mbatha in New York, also honoured:
Deja Foxx, activist and founder of GenZ Girl Gang, for her role in engendering sex education for the youth in the US;
Ineza Umuhoza Grace, global co-ordinator and co-founder of Loss and Damage Youth Coalition in Rwanda, who campaigns for those causing climate change damage to help take care of those affected by global warming;
Pashtana Durrani, executive director, LEARN Afghanistan, who has taken up the challenge of educating women and children despite an injunction by the Taliban that barred women from schools and work places; and
Wangari Kuria, founder and CEO of Farmer on Fire, who works with poor women from Kenya to ensure food security.
“The world needs innovators who will courageously pursue positive change in their communities and inspire others to action through their ingenuity,” said Global Citizen president Liza Henshaw.
“It is an honour to recognise these inspirational, young changemakers who are advancing the fight to end extreme poverty.” TimesLIVE