Grace Ghambi is no ordinary young woman. She is in a class of her own, pushing things to happen, not only for herself, but for the many youths out there.
She is passionate about technology and girls education and founded the Focus Action Results (FAR), a non-profit organisation based in Blantyre.
Besides that, Grace is also the founder of Pamodzi Savings Group. Her go-getter attitude is evident from a number of achievements she has had.
Grace says her organisation, FAR, is driven by youths with the aim of building their passion in various fields to encourage young people across the country to participate in developing the country.
She says: “We believe that with the right support, young people can develop Malawi starting with their communities. FAR aims at building a strong platform where young people can share ideas, innovate and receive mentorship as well as get resources that will help them take leadership roles addressing the most urgent issues facing the world.
“Since it’s establishment In 2018, a schedule for our target youth has always been set with prime focus on Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics Education (Steam). So far over 73 000 young people have been reached in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana. FARs first activities were in Kasungu and later speed to different regions.”
According to Grace, FAR serves the community in terms of social responsible society by utilising the youth for development and empowering them towards their sustainability.
Grace says the inspiration behind FAR and the idea behind Pamodzi Savings Group has been based on her desire to give back to the community.
She explains: “My life has been a series of pillars, starting from my family, friends and strangers. When I was in secondary school, I was motivated by Bunda University students who visited my school then, Chayamba Secondary School. I was later motivated to pursue Engineering with passion.
“As a way of giving back to my community, I founded FAR. FAR comes as an idea to provide a purpose to the youths. To help them dream and build a passion to last a lifetime. I believe that everyone needs to have passion in something to stand out in life. Realising the need that nations bring change through the youths, FAR was established to start the grassroots change for the youths.
“In line with FAR’s activities, I noticed a need in most people who fail to succeed, not because they don’t work hard but do not know how to save money.”
Grace’s efforts have not gone unrecognized.
She is the recipient of the She – Game Award Africa 2020 by All Africa Students Union (AASU).
In 2019, she was selected to attend the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) summit in Accra, Ghana.
A year later, in 2020, she was also selected by the World Bank to attend the African Drone Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Rwanda trip was in relation to her many years of working on Drone related Projects.
Grace was privileged to be trained by Drone Experts at African Drone and Data Academy (Adda, Unicef Malawi), where she attained her certificate in Drone and Geographical Information System (GIS).
As a hard working Electrical and Electronic Engineering student at the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic, Grace was selected as one of the few females based on merit for a scholarship at ESCOM.
Grace’s compassion for others prompted her to start a small start-up called Pamodzi Savings Group adding that after a year of operating, it became clear that a lot of young people indeed needed this service.
According to Grace, Pamodzi Savings Group has been running for three years now.
It provides a platform for people, especially the youths, to save money, access loans, learn and share information so that financial stability is achieved.
Since it’s inception, according to Grace, the initiative has made a lot of impact with the youths, from motivational talks, mentorship, capacity building and sanitary pads making training.
Through the initiative, some youths are now entrepreneurs while some are pursuing their dream courses in different universities.
On the other hand, lives have been improved, a thing that resonates well with the goals of FAR building the passion.
On the sanitary pads projects, Grace says, a lot of girls have come out to say that they feel confident about themselves which shows that they are on the right path to beat period shame.
While boasting of making strides with the two initiatives, Grace says moving on forward, there is more that can be done for the country and beyond.
“As such, we will be launching another phase to reach out to more young people this year. We plan to partner with different organisations, local and international, besides the partnerships we already have on the ground.
“We plan to work with the Malawi government and most importantly, we plan to work with different individuals who would like to make a difference in someone’s life,” adds Grace.
She says the two organisations are mainly on volunteer basis as it provides a platform to the youths to give back to their respective communities.
However, she says to reach their intended target, they would like to partner with different stakeholders, companies and individuals as she believes that working together can make a very big difference in society.
On long term plans, Grace says they are working on achieving the SDG’s, especially on quality education, good health and wellbeing, reduce inequality and gender equality, emphasising that the goal is to create a world full of possibilities.
She says for her, every moment to make a difference is important.
“It is also priceless to make a difference with like-minded individuals. I have the best team at FAR and I have faith that we will achieve more in Malawi and beyond. Malawi is blessed with many resources and this is the perfect time to ultilise these resources to achieve more within our homes, community and as a nation.
“God is with us and we will continue to do the duties that have been entrusted to us. Young people are the future and we are here to make that future a reality. If we have to start somewhere why not here! If we have to start sometime why not now!” says Grace.