Popya with Mavis Elias Pinehas Nakaziko Windhoek Twenty-four-year-old Mavis Elias, who has been announced as the winner of the Queens Young Leader’s Award for 2018 is a philanthropist at heart, a dreamer and the founder of EM Love Foundation. A holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Mavis says being chosen as the only next winner of the Queen Young Leader Award from Namibia is testimony to her hard work to achieve her dreams. “It has created an opportunity to receive guidance from a large network; to tap into a mass wealth of wisdom and allow it to help foster my potential into well-groomed leadership skills, which are to work for my community and play my role in uplifting our country,” she says about the award. Mavis is expected to receive her award at Buckingham Palace next June, where Queen Elizabeth II will do the handover. She says her EM Love foundation was born in 2012 out of her love for children. “Since the first fundraiser fun day in 2012, we have gone from strength to strength, engaging in community work that touches base with those we look to impact. Each initiative spoke to matters that are close to our hearts as directors, engaging citizens that are shelterless, without food to eat and impacting lives by giving dignity back to the giving process,” she says. Mavis was born in Oshakati and spent the better part of her childhood in Ongwediva. She attended her lower education at different schools, such as Erundu Combined, Francis Galton Private School, Orban Primary School and Delta Secondary School Windhoek. “At Delta I was the jack of all trades. I headed the History Society while doing soccer, netball and tennis. I was terrible at sports, but my competitive nature knew no bounds. At university I decided to take up a part-time job in radio at Energy 100 FM to better my speaking skills.” She adds that engineering being a male-dominated field always confronted her with an intimidating atmosphere, but presented a challenge she would overcome. “I had unsolicited opinions that landed me in immense trouble, due to a lack of emotional intelligence and ability to discern what thoughts were to be voiced and which not. It took acknowledging this to be an area of weakness and addressing it to learn and do better,” she says. Before turning 21 years, she had determined to give back to her country. “When I started doing charity work at the age of 20, I had a conviction in my heart that I could affect change in the lives of the second economy. I have had this belief since I was a child. I spoke about it often, but I had not left footprints on the road to making this dream a reality. “A few months before I turned 21, I had a moment of self-reflection, asking myself where my life was headed to. It kept zeroing in on the want to change and impact lives.” The organization has had its share of challenges though, among them securing office space. She says the Foundation has nevertheless grown and continues to do so. Thus far they have been able to touch over 4,000 lives, have launched 12 initiatives and developed a database of 80 volunteers.
2017-12-13 09:26:13 9 months ago