Design For Change

Design For Change

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lydia  Madyirapanze-Zimbabwe
DFC Global Catalyst

Big accomplishments begin with big goals.  Lydia is very definite when it comes to her goals.  When asked what her Design for Change goal is, she replied, “To grow Design for Change in Harare, and spread it to all provinces so that it becomes an annual event in Zimbabwe.”

Like other Design for Change programs, Lydia describes how they have to strategize and use low cost options when possible. She continues to push forward whatever steps to be taken towards having fully fledged Design for Change programs in Zimbabwe.  A new step in 2014 is seeking various kinds of support from the corporate world.

Meeting challenge has made Lydia realize the need for being innovative. She has thus drawn many lessons of out DFC. She was also excited about how girls gladly joined the boys; took up the DFC challenge and did “male dominated tasks” holding the trowel and placing sharp glasses on the wall. 

Lydia is quick to declare that she has learned that, “children can achieve more, and that communities where they live provide a lot of support and resources.” Lydia offers the following example:  “When the rest of the school gathered to see the project that they had done, they found that the children had made a plan to ensure that the wall was not a passage way out of the school, no-one could jump over it or had easy access to leave the school through the wall. Everyone remained safe inside the school.

Inspiration feeds upon itself taking us higher and higher.  It unlocks and unleashes the possibilities of human potential.  To this end, Lydia tells that her most inspiring experience to date has been, “seeing children prioritize when there are many issues and options, but yet come up with a simple yet effective method to secure the school wall.”


Lydia is currently the National Coordinator for the Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI) in Harare, Zimbabwe. FAWEZI is an affiliate of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a Nairobi based pan-African non-governmental organization. FAWE is a network of leading African female educationalists and researchers, among them women Ministers of Education, education planners and managers, and university Vice Chancellors.  FAWEZI’s mission is to promote gender equity and equality in education systems by fostering positive policies, practices and attitudes towards girls’ education. 

She was born in Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe.  Lydia holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe.  After 2008, Lydia joined FAWEZI and ever since, she has spent all of her time in development work.  While she has other responsibilities, Design for Change is one of her key projects, and is fully integrated into her current position.

Lydia has traveled in the following African countries:  Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Morroco.  She has also traveled to India, attending her first Be the Change Conference in 2013.


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