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Student takes project to Clinton Global Initiative

College of Idaho sophomore Makhosazana Nkambule is taking her proposal to help educate orphaned women and girls in her native Swaziland to the international stage.

Nkambule, a Davis United World College Scholar and part of the thriving international student population at the C of I, is headed to the Clinton Global Initiative University, a global conference that seeks to “engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.” Nkambule will share her proposal April 6 at Washington University in St. Louis alongside other students presenting plans of action in one of CGI’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Swaziland has been hit hard by the HIV epidemic, Nkambule said, and those left orphaned by the disease are foregoing an education to take care of their younger siblings. Women ages 14-30 have been disproportionately affected. Nkambule’s proposal seeks to establish child care centers in Swazi villages so the women there can go to school and obtain entrepreneurial skills.

Before Nkambule came to The College of Idaho, she was involved in helping orphans. She enjoyed the work and began to miss it after coming to the U.S.

“If I’m in America, that doesn’t mean I can’t help out my own country,” she said.

Now, Nkambule is working with ActivQuest, a technology agency that supports entrepreneurship, to provide the resources to help Swazi women. Nkambule, who drafted the proposal herself, has expanded the project to include C of I classmates Simphiwe Ngwenya, JoWayne Josephs, Moustapha Madou Tidjani Abdou and Cody Main to help the program hit the ground running if it receives funding.

That’s where the Clinton Global Initiative University comes in.

Nkambule will present her ideas during the Saturday dinner and if her proposal is selected, she will be invited to an exclusive gathering with President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries at the conference. That is where she hopes to secure funding.

If her proposal is selected, Nkambule will begin in May by picking one Swazi village and identifying the individuals there in need of help. She plans on spending four months in Swaziland growing the program. Nkambule also is working hard to expand her project on campus. She encourages her fellow C of I students to become CGI U Campus Representatives, and she’s working to make the College a part of the CGI University Network.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.