Thando Gwinji is a seasoned youth leader and gender champion with over six years of experience working with civil society organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Development Studies. She is the Founder and the current Managing Director of Youth Innovation Trust (YIT) based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. While working with YIT, she has grown highly skilled in the use of technologies for development. She has also excelled in movement building, gender programming, and has assisted girls in her community to embrace and utilize information communication technologies for social change. Through her role at YIT, she has assumed several roles within her community; she is a youth leader, a mentor, and a teacher. Her role as a youth leader in the country has seen her elected into several leadership positions, such as the National Coordinator of Activista Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Country Focal Person for the Network of African Youth for Development. She is also the current chairperson of the Zimbabwe Young Women’s Alliance. She has also assumed the role of the Zimbabwe African Union Youth Charter Hustler. Through these experiences, Thando has polished her role as a project manager who enjoys working with young people.
Tapiwa Yemeke holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe. She is the founding Program Coordinator for S.A.L.T Africa, a platform which seeks to embrace Afrocentric solutions to mental health challenges while promoting sustainable development and resilience within African communities. She has gained vast knowledge through working with inmates, communities, and tertiary institutions. She has also gained knowledge on disaster risk management after working with survivors of the tropical cyclone Idai that destroyed eastern parts of Zimbabwe. She is a NOREC alumna and is passionate about human development and improved livelihoods, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. She worked with several grassroot organizations in Zimbabwe promoting women participation in sustainable growth. At a regional level she worked with the LGBTIQ+ communities focusing on provision of legal representation in case of violations as well as sustainable projects to improve livelihoods.
Naledi Katsande has four years of experience in the non-profit sector and has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education and Health Promotion from the University of Zimbabwe. Naledi is currently implementing a Women Deliver funded project, which aims to advocate for the lowering of the age of consent for sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents in Zimbabwe. She also led a Women Deliver funded project to advocate for the inclusion of depression management as part of routine clinical care for HIV-positive adolescents in Zimbabwe. Naledi has worked as a Program Officer for Pangaea Zimbabwe AIDS Trust, where she assisted in HIV prevention programming, specifically promoting the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis among adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe. Naledi has also worked as a Junior Program Officer for Hivos Southern Africa. This position enabled her to coordinate advocacy activities for HIV programming among key populations in eight countries in Southern Africa. Through her non-profit experience, Naledi has acquired skills in qualitative research specifically Dedoose and NVIVO, advocacy, and grant writing. Naledi has a special interest in health equity for vulnerable populations, especially women and girls.
Tinatswe MhakaZimbabwe (Host: Leonardo)
Tinatswe Mhaka (BA) (LLB) is a published author, lawyer, feminist digital storyteller, and activist from Harare, Zimbabwe. Tinatswe is the founder of Feminist Voices Zimbabwe, an organization strengthening gender advocacy and access to justice through documentation and dissemination of information. Tinatswe is passionate about digital media and the mainstreaming of injustices prevalent against women in the global south. Over the last 15 months, Tinatswe has worked at Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association conducting legal aid, research, lobbying, and advocacy, specifically involving women in low-income regions. She is a freelance journalist with Open Parly ZW and has publications on multiple platforms including African Feminism, Zim Juris, Sistah Sistah, and Vutha Magazine. She has previously been a writing resident in the Digital Spaces Storytelling Lab and has carried out writing consultancies for Youth Empowerment Transformation Fund and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development. Tinatswe is also an author of feminist literature. She has three short stories in Turquoise Heart, a short story anthology about Zimbabwean women, published by Carnelian Heart Publishing in the United Kingdom. Her debut novel The Men I Have Hated is set to be available in February of 2021.
Host Organization: Leonardo
Role at Host Organization: At Leonardo, Tinatswe will serve as the Editorial Fellow: supporting the Editorial Director in development of the organization’s scholarly peer-reviewed publications, including their flagship Leonardo journal and experimental multimedia publications.
Wilfred Mukora is an engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering in Production Engineering from Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe. Wilfred also holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Moscow State University of Mechanical Engineering in Russia, which he earned as a Rus-Zim Bilateral Scholar. Wilfred has worked in the manufacturing sector for over a year as a Production Engineer at Parracombe Packaging and in the heavy metals industry for two years at Craster International. At Craster International, he investigated the possible re-use of sand used for making moulds during metal casting, which reduced production costs and was adopted by the company. He has since published one conference paper for the Russian Academy of Sciences Mechanical Engineering Research Institute and three articles for LAP LAMBERT on several topics: “Computer Modelling of Corrosion in Heated Metals under Pressure,” “Moulding Sand Management for Improved Properties,” and “Reclamation in Metal Castings and Design of an Electrically Powered Heat Treatment Oven.” Currently, Wilfred serves as a Service Manager at Bison Agro Machinery, where he advocates for mechanization of agriculture to improve food security in his home country. He is also set to start his Ph.D. studies in Mechanical Engineering in 2021. Wilfred’s areas of interest in the nonprofit sector are education and environmental conservation.
Tariro Mhute is a communications and development practitioner and social change advocate who is passionate about HIV/AIDS programming, child rights, gender policy, and advocacy. Tariro holds a Master of Science in Development Studies, a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Media and Society Studies, and an Executive Certificate in Public Relations. She is currently studying to earn a Diploma in Digital Marketing. She has five years of communications experience in the nonprofit sector and two years in the private sector. As a communications practitioner, Tariro has played a pivotal role in advocating for sustainable development in Zimbabwe while working on projects funded by PEPFAR, USAID Zimbabwe, Pact International, and ActionAid International. Currently, she works for the Organization for Public Health Interventions and Development (OPHID) as a Programs Assistant for the Target, Accelerate, and Sustain Quality Care for HIV Epidemic Control Program funded by PEPFAR/USAID. Tariro has amassed a wide array of professional skills in social media management, desktop publishing, copywriting, editing, and photojournalism, with articles published by USAID International and various platforms. In addition, Tariro is a proud Rotary International Volunteer and Public Relations Chairperson for the Rotary E-Club of Harare. She enjoys interacting with communities regardless of their economic, social, or ethnic class. Most importantly, Tariro has great passion in representing marginalized groups, especially girls, women, orphans, and vulnerable children, for social change.
Brian Makani earned a Master of Science in Safety, Health and Environmental Management and a degree with honors in Geography and Environmental Studies at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Brian has served as an Environmental Officer for the Environmental Management Agency-Zimbabwe for seven years and is currently based at the Provincial Office in Masvingo City. His responsibilities include environmental education, publicity, planning and monitoring, and environmental law implementation. Brian is also tasked with developing sustainable waste management strategies, implementing Coping with Drought and Climate Change Projects, writing environmental reports and newspaper articles for publication, and formulating and implementing sustainable waste management practices and projects. His areas of particular interest in the nonprofit sector include environmental conservation, sanitation, and education.
Debra Nhokwara is a media professional with a strong background in communication and social strategy development. Debra holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology (ZW). Recently, she was awarded a Chevening Scholarship and she is currently studying Gender and Media MA at the University of Sussex. She is an experienced Public Relations Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Debra is skilled in crisis management, search engine optimization (SEO), news writing, and advertising. As an experienced media consultant, Debra conducts digital marketing, social strategy development, and integration using data-based analytics tools. She offers particular expertise in designing marketing material, newsletters and social media content. Debra is proud to have worked with Transparency International Zimbabwe (Bulawayo Region) and Nhimbe Trust in their many advocacy programmes in Matabeleland. She is passionate about issues affecting women. She is involved in a program that visits different communities holding women’s empowerment circles so as to capacitate women on their rights and to address the challenges they face, especially gendered corruption. She is part of Lady Rose Reusable Pads, an organization that manufactures reusable pads for disadvantaged women.
Chiedza Chinakwetu is a proactive change agent with an acute appreciation and understanding of social justice issues, and a passion for working towards bettering the lives of marginalized peoples. Chiedza’s goal is to educate and empower communities so that they can advocate for their social well-being and consequently break the cycle of poverty. A graduate student of Case Western Reserve University, with seven years of experience working with marginalized populations in Africa and the United States, Chiedza commands strong competencies in facilitating, negotiating, and project planning and management. As a Social Administrator, Chiedza has worked with large humanitarian aid organizations, such as World Vision as a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Consultant, where she was responsible for mainstreaming GESI across programs. Her role as a Donor Engagement and Advancement Intern for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) enabled her to better understand how large NGOs secure funding from both the United States Government and NGO entities. In addition, Chiedza has extensive research experience which she gained as a Research Assistant working with data analysis software such as SAS and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) at the Center on Urban and Community Development. Although Chiedza has varied interests, she is incredibly passionate about the advancement of women. To this end, she has developed a microfinance program for victims of Gender-Based Violence in Mangwe District, Zimbabwe. Chiedza managed to foster women’s participation in community development activities and increased their participation by 60% in a two-year period during her time with the Government of Zimbabwe working as a Social Services Officer under the Department of Social Services. Through it all, these experiences developed and strengthened Chiedza’s program management and business development skills.
Concillia MpofuZimbabwe (Host: Atlas Corps)
Concillia has 7 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management and Marketing from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe. She is an events management enthusiast with particular interest in fundraising, as well as managing events that empower vulnerable communities and underrepresented members of society. She currently works as an Alumni Affairs Officer for NUST. She is responsible for the development of an effective relationship with all university alumni, as well as initiating and implementing fundraising activities and events. She develops, supports and promotes alumni strategy, including operations and communications plans. She is also the University Liaison Officer for the Association of African Universities (AAU), a voluntary position which involves bridging the information gap between NUST and the African universities community. Amongst the various duties in this portfolio is organizing events, such as the African University Week, and creating awareness of the goals and mission of AAU to the NUST community. Previously, Concillia worked for Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company, an events management company, where her role comprised of market research. She spearheaded the company’s business development arm through conceptualization and implementation of new events. Through her educational background coupled with work experience, she has balanced expertise within the field of corporate communications, marketing, fundraising, and project and events management. Concillia enjoys conceptualizing fundraising events for the development of our society, especially the education sector.
Host Organization: Atlas Corps
Role at Atlas Corps Concillia will serve as the Training Manager Fellow: planning and managing Atlas Corps’ leadership development program for Fellows, Global Leadership Lab (GLL), comprised of over 200 hours of theoretical and practical experiential learning over the Fellowship year.
Takawira KapikinyuZimbabwe (Host: Refugees International)
Takawira has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He has earned several degrees, including a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management, and a Master of Science in Rural and Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe. As a university student, Takawira was an active member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe and a representative to the Students Representative Council for his faculty. He also interned with Development Associates Consultants and has worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service as a Project Officer. Most recently, Takawira worked as an Associate Researcher with Gender and Rural Development Consultants (GERUDE), where he provided consultancy services to many NGOs and development agencies. At GERUDE he gained vast experience in project planning and management, monitoring and evaluation, and report writing. He is currently the vice president of the Proudly Zimbabwean Trust Zimbabwe Chapter.
Host Organization: Refugees International
Gamuchirai TagwireyiZimbabwe (Host: ICMEC)
Gamuchirai has three years of professional experience including working for an organization called Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in South Africa as a research and advocacy intern. She also assisted other programs such as the Action for a Safe South Africa, program that aims to work with youth at risk of offending in South Africa. Gamuchirai has participated in consultative processes for Parliamentary sittings on the promulgation of the Child Justice Act. She is a volunteer of Bring Back Hope foundation, a small-scale anti-xenophobic organization working with displaced Africans in South Africa. Gamuchirai received an LLB degree from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. She received a Research Capacity Development scholarship in 2007 to pursue her studies and earned a master’s degree in Child Witness Law from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Host Organization: International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children