Julieth Gudo


Julieth is a 27-year-old Zimbabwean national studying her Doctorate in Law at the University of Cape Town.

In 2009, she worked and volunteered at the orphanage and women’s shelter in Musina, where she grew up after her arrival in South Africa as a refugee.

Her thesis aims to clarify legal protections for watchdog role of CSOs towards SOE in SA. She wants to generate a focus on closing legal gaps, to ensure better service delivery by government especially to the marginalized, mostly women and children.

Upon completion of her studies, Julieth plans to work with refugees at the South Africa-Zimbabwean border. In her personal capacity, she wants to be involved as a legal counsel, and in collaboration with human rights groups, to ensure justice, and fair government service delivery, especially to vulnerable groups.

Elizabeth Shawa

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Elizabeth is a Malawian national studying her doctorate in Development Studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She has been recognized for her commitment to women and children by being selected in 2017 for leadership training under former US President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

She is a Co-Founder of Facilitators of Community Transformation (FACT) founded in 2015, to help communities engage with health-related issues which affect women and children.

She tutored Mamelodi township children in English and math during school year, and art and dancing during the school holidays; educated children about their human rights.

Elizabeth plans to pursue a career as a policy analyst working with local and international agencies in the areas of care work and youth unemployment. She has plans to launch a bursary scheme project for orphans in Malawi. 

Patricia Achieng Otieno


Patricia, a Kenyan national is pursuing her doctorate in Fungal Immunology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her commitment to women and children is evident in the time she invests giving motivational talks and teaching life skills to children in primary schools (Kenya). Patricia is also Vice-Chairperson of the Dikakapa Every Day Heroes (DEH), mentoring disadvantaged youth through tutoring and motivational talks (South Africa).

This inspirational woman is also Involved in public science engagement initiatives encouraging young girls to think about a career in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as member of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE).

On completion of her studies, Patricia plans to teach and research. Start her own Fungal Research Unit in Kenya, focusing on relevant local fungal infections, and empowering women scientists.

Karin van Niekerk

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Karin is studying a doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences – Assistive Technology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She works as an occupational therapist providing individual therapy to children and group therapy to their parents. She conducts life skills group therapy in Pretoria Central Prison to juvenile offenders and female adult inmates.

She is also involved with Investigating the barriers that contribute to the under-utilization of assistive technology (AT) by children who have little or no speech. Over and above that she volunteers to assist children with learning difficulties, teaches and mentors Master’s students.

As part of her future plans, Karen plans to become an independent researcher and continue her research to develop this field in South Africa, sharing knowledge through national and international conference presentations, peer-reviewed journal publications, and teaching. She will also continue to address the under-utilization of AT by young children in South Africa

Adetokunbo Johnson

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Adetokunbo Johnson is doing a PhD in Human Rights at the faculty of law, Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She has a huge passion to work with women and girls, particularly domestic violence victims and survivors. Also, her disability has fueled an interest in disability rights; specifically the rights of disabled women and the intersectional discrimination they experience by virtue of their gender and their disability.

Presently while involved with her PhD, she works at the Women's Unit, Centre for Human Rights. She has also worked at BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights as well as Project Alert.

On completion of her doctorate, Ade plans to work as a Human Rights Advocate in Nigeria for a couple of years (private/public sector/ international organization) and then establish an NGO that would provide services for women and the girl child.

Nolwazi Nadia Ncube

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Nolwazi is currently studying her Doctorate in Sociology of Reproduction at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She launched a rural outreach program known as “Save the Girl-with-a-Vision”, aimed at reducing schoolgirl absenteeism linked to a lack of access to sanitary wear.

She will also be launching the “Break the Silence” campaign in partnership with the community and local authorities to promote survivors of rape and sexual violence to report their cases to a victim-friendly justice system.

This dynamic young woman plans to specialize in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and hopes to become a widely cited expert in this field; and wants to expand her NGO activities.

In late April 2018, Nolwazi launched the Let’s Get Padded Up in partnership with the Rotaract Club of Harare West, the Rotaract Club of Borrowdale Brooke and her charity (Save the Girl Child Movement’s) sister organization the Southern African Women’s Institute for Development Affairs (SAWIDA).

Hlengiwe Patricia Ndhlovu

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Hlengiwe is a South African national studying her Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand. Hlengiwe is the founder of the Reading for Tomorrow project, which fosters a culture of reading for pleasure, and promotes African literature, in primary and high school children. She was awarded the 2017 Canon Collins Trust Social Impact Award which helped expand the library and the reach of the reading clubs. She initiated Operation Buyela ‘Eskolweni (Go Back to School) with Duncan Village Youth Centre, where university students encourage young women and recent high school graduates who are doing unskilled work to get a higher education.

Hlengiwe personally recruits young women, encouraging them to either renew efforts to matriculate from high school or helps them with applications for college admission and seeking funding.

As part of her career plans, Hlengiwe plans to teach in a tertiary level institution, continue community work, including Reading for Tomorrow, with school students.

Faith Nyamakwere

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Faith is studying a Doctorate in Dairy Science (Agriculture) at the University of Stellenbosch. Her dissertation topic is on the Development of an artisanal cheese and ricotta making model for rural areas of South Africa.

Her commitment to women and children is evident in the work she does. She is the chairperson of Agri-Groomers in her local municipality (Stellenbosch) responsible for guiding the overall direction of company strategies; fundraising at district level; recruiting youth to establish local members, and engaging AgriGroomer’s members in Agri-Groomer’s programs. While Faith was still a student at the University of Fort Hare, she worked as a peer facilitator/tutor.

After completing her Doctorate, Faith plans to take the findings from her thesis and provide training (either in South Africa but preferably in Zimbabwe) in daily routine management practices for dairy farming, including development and implementation aspects, economic and health benefits); such practices can be replicated and knowledge shared.