“Not only do I want to empower people, but I am hoping to play a part in holding polluting industries and governments accountable for environmental rights violations.”
Passionate about environmental justice
Thobeka Gumede, participant of the 2020 Global Impact Challenge, grew up in South Africa. She is from a small village called Nkwalini located in the Northern KwaZulu-Natal province.
When it was time for Thobeka to decide what to study, her decision to pursue law came naturally. She notes that growing up she was always committed to helping disenfranchised and vulnerable people, and studying law would enable her to pursue this passion in a greater way. However, Thobeka did not anticipate a career in environmental justice. Taking a class in environmental law opened her eyes to all of the environmental abuses in the world. She then entered into the environmental justice sector, with the goal of educating people and “holding polluting industries and governments accountable for environmental rights violations.”
Her impact plan
Having grown up in South Africa, Thobeka Gumede knows firsthand about the devastation that the mining industry has had on the population. She seeks to fight against the poverty and exploitation affecting South Africa through empowering communities. Specifically, Thobeka wants to educate people about their human and environmental rights, and give them the agency to envision new opportunities. Her project is also focused on “exploring alternative, sustainable development opportunities” for communities heavily impacted by the mining industry.
What does she hope to get out of the Nudge Global Impact Challenge?
Thobeka is excited to be part of the Challenge because the objectives of the programme resonate with those of her project: impact, promoting leadership, and sustainability. She views the Challenge as a great opportunity to network with other young trailblazers, and as a way to strengthen skills relevant to her project and her career.