Verengai Mabika

Ashoka Fellow
Harare, Zimbabwe
Fellow Since 2012


This profile was prepared when Verengai Mabika was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
In 2009 with the aims of addressing awareness, community response and public policy needs relating to climate change and engaging young people to respond to those needs, Verengai created Development Reality Institute (DRI) in Harare. Using a “virtual school” approach, DRI offers a basic online course that examines the Earth’s climate system and explores the science and politics of climate change. It recently introduced an advanced, diploma-level course that draws on the expertise of climate change researchers from many parts of the world. Additionally, DRI’s website contains a knowledge management initiative (K-Hub), with a rapidly expanding array of documentary materials on climate change—including research reports, position papers, journal articles, and documentary videos of community efforts to respond to adverse climate change.

Drawing on the expanding array of materials in DRI’s K-Hub, Verengai and his staff are also increasingly engaged in advocacy roles in domestic and international debates concerning appropriate policy responses to the many challenges posed by global climate change. In a related activity deploying a powerful combination of its webcasting and Skype conferencing facilities, DRI is enabling substantial Zimbabwean’s working on climate change issues in government agencies, relevant university departments, and citizen organizations (COs) to participate in international conferences related to climate change. Additionally, in an effort to engage a younger generation in environmental protection and related activities, Verengai and his colleagues have promoted the creation of and are assisting in the development of “Cool Clubs” in secondary schools in Zimbabwe to stimulate student interest in environmental quality issues and engagement in community-based efforts.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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