I am Makanaka (Maka) Chikowero, aged 12, a 7th grade student at Velma Hamilton Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. I started a Rozaria Memorial Trust girls club in North America and I am the current president for the same region. The Rozaria Memorial Trust is a Murewa-based organization that seeks to end child marriages while also helping vulnerable girls and young women to achieve their dreams in education and business. As a young person within the Rozaria Memorial Trust, I support efforts to end child marriages in Zimbabwe.
I believe girls should be supported in school, in sport and in learning about how they can create a better and safer world. I try to live these ideas by doing two sports; soccer and swimming. I have played soccer since the age of five and took up swimming at seven. Today I play for a girls soccer club and I also swim for two different clubs. I have achieved quite a bit with my swimming and soccer teams including competing at city-wide swim meets and losing just one regular season match with my current soccer club. I find that team sport teaches values like leadership, empathy, discipline as well as building self-confidence.
To learn more about issues affecting girls in the world today, I have attended two Status of Women and Girls(CSW) conferences at the United Nations in New York City in the last two years. This year, as president of Rozaria Memorial Trust girls club of North America, I am leading over ten other girls from different parts of the US who are also members of the girls club.
Finally, I initiated a project to source a soccer kit for a girls team at Magaya Secondary School in Murehwa. This March, I plan to hand over 12 pairs of soccer shoes and six soccer balls to this same group of girls to add to the shirts, shorts and socks I handed over last year.