It’s #MeetYourOFFAdvocate Wednesday! And today we are excited to chat with Ms Constance Chifuniro Utsale. Let’s get to know her take on SDGs and the future!
Hi Constance! Can you please tell us something about you — what you do, why and how are you involved with OFF?
I am an environmentalist currently working for Central East African Railways who would also like to become an environmental and development specialist. I graduated from the University of Malawi Polytechnic with a degree in Environmental Science and Technology-Environment Management. I love jogging and going to the gym just to keep my health in check. In OFF I am the Administrative and Financial lead as well as an enthusiastic advocate for the youth. I am passionate about action towards climate change as well as achieving sustainable cities and communities. The repercussions of climate change are very visible from the drought in Balaka to floods in Lilongwe districts. Our cities are far from being ecofriendly with their overuse of natural resources to produce the needed energy to around 11% of Malawi’s population which is problematic. I found it wise to join Our Fresh Futurez because it holds the same zeal I have towards alleviating all these problems for a prosperous tomorrow.
Wow — very insightful! Well, if you had all the money in this world, what SDG — choose only one — would you work on?
🙂 Everyone may have a solid reason for not preferring “Goal 1: No poverty”, but I’ll stick to my guns on this one. This goal incorporates all the sustainable development goals meaning it is all hands on deck! From ensuring sustainable cities and communities, clean water and sanitation to the rest of the SDGs. It just calls to me.
Nice one — we definitely can’t argue with you on that! Now — OFF is about inspiring local citizen action towards sustainability and the SDGs, what words of inspiration do you have to fellow youth out there?
Every decision you make in life for selfless reasons is like going through an underground tunnel. Dark and unpleasant as it may seem at the current time, the future is much brighter. So, let’s be selfless together in achieving the SDGs for the benefit of the current and future generations.
Very wise words Constance! So who’s the one person — not from your family — who has inspired your life or career so far?
The Kenyan founder of the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai, was just amazing! Her movement incorporated ecofeminism with community development to combat deforestation among other problems. In the 1970’s according to the census undertaken there were more women than men, as is also the case in Malawi. So, Wangari was able to use these statistics to her advantage in trying to combat soil erosion and desertification in Kenya. She was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
A well deserving Nobel Laureate indeed. Finally, would you share with us your motto in life or the quote that you live by?
“Keep the fire burning”, words of motivation from my former principle, Mrs. Da Cruz, at Our Lady of Wisdom Secondary School to her students. These words may sound very simple, but they hold a powerful meaning. All other factors being equal, these insightful words molded me into the person I currently am, ever persistent in achieving my goals.