Campus spotlight: St. Kate’s student advocates for girls’ education
Reprinted with permission from St. Catherine University. View the full original article, which was published on March 7, 2023.
At just ten years old, Maka Chikowero ’26 was the youngest delegate to the 2015 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference. She had been invited to speak at the UN after her school project on gender inequality caught the attention of Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, former African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriages, and former General Secretary of the World YWCA. This early involvement was the launchpad for years of activism in women's rights and girls' education for Chikowero, and later led her to found her own nonprofit and to St. Kate's, where she is a first-year double majoring in women and international development and public health.
Chikowero’s nascent interest in gender equality blossomed after her first trip to the UN, where she was invited to learn more about how the issue unfolds on a global scale.
“That was an eye-opening experience for me, getting to see what gender inequality looks like and what people were doing about it,” Chikowero said. “I said, I want to take this back to my community in Madison, to my community in Zimbabwe, and help people in any way that I can.”
As a lifelong athlete and strong believer in the transformational power of sports — she played soccer and swam in high school, and is a student-athlete on St. Kate’s swim team — she decided to begin by donating soccer equipment to girls in rural areas of Zimbabwe. Her initial donations enabled the first ever girls’ soccer tournament hosted by Rozaria Memorial Trust in the Murehwa rural district in 2016. They now host girls’ soccer tournaments every other year to celebrate the Day of the African Child.
Making an impact through school and sportAfter several years of learning the ins and outs of advocacy, Chikowero decided as a high schooler to start her own nonprofit, and MTC Educate a Girl was born. MTC operates in Zimbabwe, and works to support girls and women in rural areas through education, entrepreneurship, and sport.
MTC Educate A Girl - Gavhunga primary and secondary schools donations 3/28/2021
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Keep The Game Beautiful
Maka was recently interviewed on the Keep The Game Beautiful podcast! You can listen here!
Maka was interviewed about the COVID response in Zimbabwe and what MTC Educate A Girl Inc. is doing to help! Check it out!
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