“Students with Dreams taught me how I could run a project in its simplest form and this has given me the confidence to do only greater things” says Isabel Kumwembe, a Students with Dreams (SWD) alumnus.
After completing her studies at Chancellor College, Isabel went on to gain a prestigious Global health Corps fellowship and be Chair of Roteract in Lilongwe. She is now is pursuing her MBA and supporting other young leaders as Malawi Programmes and Operations Senior Associate for Global Health Corps.
Isabel was a leader of Chanco Project Rejuvenation, a student driven initiative that aimed at rehabilitating dilapidated infrastructure at important institutions in Malawi. Primarily, as the name suggests, focus was made on rehabilitating infrastructure at Chancellor College, however the project was not exclusive to the college.
“The project achieved its intended mission above my expectations. What started off as a one off affair turned into a project having four years of impact, and receiving national attention!
“Due to the positive reception the project got, there was high demand and potential for it to go on. Upon receiving a million Kwacha donation (K1, 000, 000) from Nico Life Insurance Company, after first project, funding became available for another cycle. I was able to continue to provide leadership to the volunteers and the second cycle was successful. At the beginning of every school year, new recruits were found and we planned as a team what assignments we were willing and able to take on. We thus operated in this manner for four years.”
Isabel further explains how the students with dreams programme helped her in her personal and career development.
“I feel I have gained skills in financial management. With the nature of my project, it is very important to be transparent on how funds are used, to keep receipts of transactions and also to be accountable to self. I also gained a lot of networking skills in trying to promote and advertise my project as I met people I probably would never have met, and gone place I probably would never have gone without the necessity of my project. Additionally I have learnt the power of collaboration, sharing ideas and brainstorming. Being a person who likes to try to solve a lot of things on my own, Students with Dreams put me in a new realm.”