More than 7,000 miles from her native Zimbabwe, Ellah Chiminya dreams of one day returning home. For years, Ellah witnessed the impact of poverty on rural communities in her country and its neighbors. Farmers struggled to make a living as the land deteriorated from climate change and poor farming practices. Families often moved in search of a better life, finding the same challenges they left behind.
Recently immigrated to France, Ellah hasn’t forgotten the challenges her people face.
“Africa needs development more than ever and I am prepared to go back and help after learning best practices from France and the other advanced economies,” said Ellah, who hopes to start her own social enterprise to provide African women and children critical training in small business ownership and sustainable farming practices.
Despite her ambitions, Ellah wasn’t sure how to launch her ideas into action until enrolling in Philanthropy University last fall. Through the seven courses, Ellah gained a stronger grounding in leadership, social enterprise, and financial management while being exposed to diverse viewpoints that broadened her own understanding of issues facing people all over the world.
The connections she built with her fellow learners have since blossomed into new friendships that stretch from the Philippines to India and Chile. Ellah even speaks with one of her former classmates daily and plans to work with her as she launches her nonprofit organization
“When you find out there are like-minded people out there, you become really motivated to do more,” said Ellah, who is already pursuing additional online training in women’s health and human rights. “If you’re alone, you can dream and dream and dream. But as a group, you push each other to take action.”