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Sarah Madingwana

Contribution to Children, World Peace and/or Human Rights

Sarah has always been an advocate for equal access to education. Having to navigate her own life struggles and ensuring that young girls her age never had to endure some of the difficulties that she endured in her life. Having a blind father that’s a single parent and a brother that become her prime responsibility when her grandmother passed on at the age of 20, she had to find jobs while pursuing her entrepreneurial job and also fund her own education. All of this was to ensure that her dreams kept going and that her family was fed.

Entrepreneurship wasn’t a passion but a necessity. She was in The Sowetan’s Top 10 Women to Watch. She was featured on this platform because of the work she has done with SABC3, doing a fashion show in Nairobi Fashion Week and also the work she has done in establishing 14 libraries. She has trained people in Business Development and has done work in enhancing the township economy at the Rudo Institute. She has been profiled by the BBC regarding the inspiration that she is bringing into the entrepreneurial landscape in South Africa. 

She was also named in the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young Persons Awards. In 2015, she established the Daveyton Book Club with Kwandile Skhosana. In the same year, she trained 500 students in Project Management with Insurance SETA and Kezla Investment. From 2015-2018, she established 14 libraries in disadvantaged schools.

She has planted fruit trees in 120 schools across Ekurhuleni for an initiative she had with the SA National Parks and Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries. In 2019, she trained 60 students in Business Development with a focus on formalizing the township economy. In 2019, she partnered with the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation to train 250 entrepreneurs in Business Ideation. Also, in 2019, she partnered with Growth Point and the National Educational Trust (Lakeside Mall) to train 200 children in reading for meaning. In the same year, she cofounded the Rudo Institute Learning Institute. 

In 2020, she trained 15 students in Business Development and established an entrepreneurial fund and all of her graduates are registered with their networks to gain access to funding and bursaries. 20 have received bursaries to study community development thus far through the Rudo Institute. Postnet ran an online competition where young people got to nominate entrepreneurs that have impacted and made substantial contributions to entrepreneurship and Sarah was nominated by peers, competitors and some of her beneficiaries for the award. 

Sarah received the MSALead Social Enterprenuership Award, an initiative that run by Monash University to support and incubate entrepreneurs in South Africa. She won an award in recognition of the work she does in Education. Sarah was named in the Naspers Top 100 young Mandela’s and in the Ekurhuleni Top 100. Sarah has dedicated her life to develop herself, family and the community through Social Entrepreneurship and Education. These are important fundamentals that greatly impact the community sustainably. Her passion in Education encouraged her to open 14 Library centres around her community. Benefitting the community is important to Sarah Madingwana who believes that entrepreneurs should not only focus on maximising financial returns but should also reach the people in need. 

The Daveyton book club (that she co-founded) has previously donated more than 200 books to the JCI Sandton Akani Book drive in 2019. Sarah effortlessly embodies the JCI principle the service to humanity is the best work of life and her partnership with JCI proves her high belief in the JCI values and principles.