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Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

Maureen is a community organiser and activist who always seeks to be the change her community needs. She is the founder of Community Hope Trust, through which she champions educational equality among a host of other inequalities which confront poor communities. She also consults in the non-profit sector offering sustainability-related services in areas such as strategic planning, resource mobilisation, project management, M&E, and change management.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when Zimbabwe’s schools were closed by government order, as part of the Community Hope Trust, Maureen founded a community home-schooling initiative in the working-class neighbourhood of Mbizo in the city of Kwekwe. The initiative provides both experiential and curriculum-based learning for local children via the hard work and expertise of a volunteer network of trained teachers and parents.

In 2016, Maureen co-founded a community-based organisation in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, called Green Active Citizens motivated by the concern that most countries, including Zimbabwe, were choosing to turn a blind eye to environmental justice in their quest for development. GACT’s main thrust is to infuse social and economic justice issues with environmental justice issues. Maureen has also been a general council member of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) and consulted for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung as a Program Facilitator for their Youth Leadership Training Program (for which she is a Fellow). This programme draws young leaders from different spheres across the Zimbabwe with a major thrust of discussing inequalities in different spheres as well as locating the role of youth towards sustainable development.

Her early days of activism were in the labour movement where she stood for equality in the world of work calling for just and decent employment. Her experience as a labour activist strengthened her conviction to the fact that income inequalities influence inequalities in other dimensions of well-being.

Maureen has volunteered with various organisations including the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and those that deal with youths and children such as Junior Chamber International - Zimbabwe and Tugwi Trust. She has published articles and facilitated training sessions in Africa and beyond.

Much of the debates and discussions around inequality has focused on inequality as an economic phenomena and inequality as a static endpoint. While this serves as a good starting point, I strongly feel that there is need to focus on the world of work exhaustively and deliberately. Such a focus is justified by the fact that for most people, employment and its benefits thereof, has a bearing on their well-being, which comprises a set of capabilities indicating the extent of freedom individuals have in leading dignified lives.

Maureen Sigauke


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