Greetings everyone. As aforementioned my name is Butho Ndhlovu. I am a student at the University of Venda, South Africa where I am pursuing a Masters Degree in Rural Development. I find myself in Madrid because a community engagement that I have been involved in since my undergraduate years-since January 2008 to be specific-came up as one of the third prize winners of the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. This project-Amplifying Grassroots Community Voices in Vhembe District of South Africa-was initiated to plug the disconnect between local government authorities and the people they serve: Community Members in rural areas of Vhembe District. I am really thrilled for being part of a winning community engagement project taking into cognizance the fact that we have won prize on a global platform. This points to the fact that we are doing something right and that we are making the “right noise” as a university as far as community engagement is concerned. However, it is imperative to point out the fact that there is always room for improvement and thus, we will not rest on our laurels, we will continue to work even harder because the sky is not even the limit for us.
Why do I want to be part of this opportunity?
It is a window through which I-as a student-can be able to interact with numerous fellow students from all walks of life on imperative issues that affect us. Also, I believe this opportunity will afford me the chance to enhance my participation in and knowledge of civic engagement. We all need to harness the spirit of doing good for the improvement of fellow human beings which in turn makes the world a better place where altruism is taken seriously.
What inspires me the most about the global civic engagement movement?
It affords people-especially young people-to contribute to the betterment of their families, communities, countries and the world-at-large. It is through civic engagement that we, as young people, can grow up knowing the value of thinking for the collective by giving back to the society that sculpts us into who and what we are. I strongly feel that civic engagement makes people relevant in the noble cause of making the world a better place.