Moeletsi Mapheto is a young woman who is passionate about preserving the dignity of people in rural communities. She strives to give hope to the rural communities around Ga-Mphahlele in Limpopo province through education and youth empowerment. She is an accounting enthusiast and working towards becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant. She is an inspiration to the youth, community leader, and a high school tutor.
Her appetite for community work started in 2011 when she was serving under an organization called Aganang Youth Movement which was started by university students. Aganang Youth Movement aimed to assist learners from rural areas to gain entry into the universities through career guidance and providing information about different financial support available for underprivileged students.
In 2016 she resigned from her first job and she was unemployed for the rest of the year. She decided to dedicate her time to serving in the rural communities, she started torturing accounting for high school learners in Lekurung Village. During those times she came to witness the many challenges that learners from rural areas experience daily. She expressed that most of the learners could not read and write, and some girls were not coming to school because they could not afford sanitary towels.
She later started a project of donating sanitary towels to high school learners, she managed to donate to over 10 schools in the rural communities. The focus was giving few learner sanitary towels that will last them for the whole year, rather than giving many learner sanitary towels that will only last for a month.
In 2018 she secured a job, and she took a portion of her new earnings to start a project called program 25. The program aims to adopt 25 learners from grade 8 to grade 12; to provide intentional mentorship, monitoring their academic excellence, provide them with sufficient study materials, and expose them to different career paths for 5 years.
Amongst many other successful projects she undertook to develop the rural areas, she led a project to renovate a classroom into a school library. She helped built adequate toilets at Phauwe secondary school for the learners because they were using pit toilets that were in terrible condition.
"I want to preserve the dignity of rural communities because I am from the rural areas and I understand the dynamics of living in a rural area." She recounted.
During COVID-19, she has managed to feed over 1200 families from 30 rural communities. She has also managed to assist over 3000 learners in 15 schools both in Ga-Mphahlele and Giyani with masks, sanitizers, and sanitary towels.
She mentioned that some of the major challenges with community development is having the financial capability to reach the desired outcome.
"Everybody who knows me knows that I am always asking donations." She laughed.
She noted that it is important for community builders to create projects that will sustain and empower people for the rest of their lives rather than have them to rely on handouts for the rest of their lives.
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