One should never do anything they’re not passionate about because they will only excel in the work and not fall in love with the motive behind the work.



The Child Upliftment Corner Foundation

It has been just over three years since Fhulufhelo Muvhali, 20, matriculated, yet this dynamic changemaker has made a huge difference in the lives of many learners through her Child Upliftment Corner Foundation. The non-profit organisation is aimed at improving mother-tongue language proficiency in children by ensuring that primary schools in rural areas of Thohoyandou have access to reading resources and that learners are given opportunities to excel.

In her matric year, Fhulufhelo was awarded a bronze award in the De Beers English Olympiad — she was disheartened by the low participation of children from her school and discovered her mission. She volunteered for the Bright Young Leaders Initiative, an organisation that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Fhulufhelo helped learners enter the innovative competition and donated study guides, laptops and calculators.

Being a two-time awardee at the Eskom Science Expo for Young Scientists, she was invited to volunteer as a judge and mentor learners. In 2021 she became a global changemaker as a World Literacy Foundation ambassador and an outreach volunteer for Global Changemakers. In 2022, Fhulufhelo was selected to be a part of a model-united simulation in Turkey. She also graduated from the Trevor Noah Education Changemakers programme, cohort 2, and returned to her community to partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Literacy4life and the Limpopo Department of Education to build a literacy hub. 

  • Matric (2019), Mbilwi Secondary School 
  • 2x award winner in the Eskom Science Expo for Young Scientists 
  • Bronze, De Beers English Olympiad competition 
  • Student at the University of Venda, faculty of science, engineering and agriculture. 
  • YALI alumna under the Business and entrepreneurship development programme 
  • Trevor Noah Foundation’s Education Changemakers programme

  • Science Expo for Young Scientists regional judge 
  • Selected to present to the World Literacy Summit in the UK under the category of youth contributing to literacy 
  • Research assistant at the University of Venda, community engagement office 
  • Represented South Africa in an international Model United Simulation.

One childhood memory I have always kept dearly is the day I read my first big word in a grade 1 class, the teacher’s excitement is all I can picture. The thought always makes me want to achieve more in a collective manner where other lives are impacted.

I would like to let my younger self know that the colour of her skin does not define her success, her mindset does.

In the next five years, South Africa should change its language policies for learners in the ECD, South Africa should have platforms that recognize ECD practitioners as the biggest contributors to education. Schools in rural areas should not lack access to reading resources and educational opportunities.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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