Alumni pay it forward

In 2010 South African alumni Fulu Murovhi (BBusCom 2007) and Laura Cremona (BBusSys 2006, BBusSys(Hons) 2007) launched a volunteer program to teach local community members new skills. Two years on...

In 2010 South African alumni Fulu Murovhi (BBusCom 2007) and Laura Cremona (BBusSys 2006, BBusSys(Hons) 2007) launched a volunteer program to teach local community members new skills. Two years on and the program is going strong.

The Monash South Africa Alumni Community Development Initiative sees alumni volunteers teaching basic computer literacy skills to members of the local community. The program is mainly aimed at women who have not completed formal education and who may not have had previous access to technology.

Fulu and Laura started the initiative with a strong desire to use the skills they had learned at Monash to give back to the community. Monash School of IT lecturers Sheelagh Walton and Neil Manson helped with the development of a basic computer literacy program. Laura and Fulu then set about recruiting a group of participants from the local community. The program is held on Saturdays at the Monash South Africa campus in Ruimsig; each program runs for 12 weeks.

Thanks to the training, three participants have found new work in new industries. Former participant Lerato Mbiko is now working for Nedbank and Caroline Mutasa is teaching computer literacy at Amazing Grace Primary School in Randburg. Rockwell Mulenga, who undertook an advanced class, now runs his own web and graphic design company.

Fulu and Laura are now hoping to recruit more volunteers so the program can continue. Full training is provided for volunteers, who work on a rotation basis.

“We are very proud of our alumni for sharing their knowledge and skills and making a difference in their communities,” Monash South Africa’s Cristelle Snyman said.

“We hope that more alumni will volunteer this year for the continued success of this initiative.”

The long-term vision for the project is to include training in other fields such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship, CV-writing and project management, to equip the participants with a whole range of new skills.

Alumni interested in volunteering should email Fulu Murovhi on fuluzo@gmail.com.