Chisenga Muyoya has become the first Zambian to receive the Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person of the Year award.
Chisenga, who studies MSc Practising Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway, University of London, was invited to Japan alongside nine other individuals to collect her award.
“JCI is a nonprofit organisation for young, active citizens aged 18 to 40, who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities.
Active citizens are individuals invested in the future of our world. JCI gathers active citizens from all sectors of society.
We develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions and take action. As globally minded young people, we all have rights, responsibilities and share goals. We find targeted solutions to local issues benefitting our communities, our world and our future. Embracing new ideas, collaboration and diversity, we have the passion and courage to address the critical challenges of our time. ” as described on the official website (http://www.jci.cc/)
The award, which has been handed out every year since 1983, is given to those who exemplify the spirit of the JCI mission, providing exemplary service to their communities and serving as honorable young active citizens.
Chisenga was chosen because she felt compelled to use her background in computing and information system management, to take a stand for women in technology by founding Asikana Network; a youth led social enterprise that seeks to increase the participation of young women in technology.
Upon receiving the award, Chisenga was overwhelmed:
‘When I first heard that I would receive the award, the gravity of it didn’t sink in because I was frantically preparing for a year of study in the UK, courtesy of the Chevening Scholarship. Before leaving Zambia, I met with two women I look up to, who reminded me to own it, to receive it with pride and know that in doing so, I am paving the way for others.
‘I am passionate about changing the narrative of Africa, that whilst we may not have everything, we do whatever we can with whatever we have. I waved my country flag extra high on that stage in Japan because the recognition at a global level serves as an example to young people in Africa what may seem like small efforts to bring positive change to our communities can have a far greater impact than we imagine.’