to become "A civil Engineer like my father"
My choice to become a civil engineer stems from the fact that my father is a civil engineer as well, I remember every time a teacher asked me the question "what do you want to be when you grow up" I didn't have to think twice I would always shout "A civil Engineer like my father" mind you I did not even know anything about civil engineering the first time I answered that question. I am sure the fact that of the four boys he had it being his daughter that wanted to be just like him came as a surprise but never the less my father encouraged me, he made sure everything I did in school aligned with my career goals and I am privileged to have had his support and encouragement especially in an industry that is dominated by men. Not only did he urge me but he made sure that I met every female civil engineer that he knew so I believed I could do it too. And even now that he is retired I always remind him of what a difference he has made in my life and if it wasn't for his faith in me I wouldn't be here right now because having a degree in civil engineering has given me the knowledge and skills to be able to work in the industry, successfully see all the projects through and be able to come up with ideas on how we can improve the wellbeing of our girls in our communities.
Over the course of my 7 years in the industry and working in rural areas I find that my passion for civil engineering grows with every project that I am a part of it this same passion that drives me to visit local schools and talk to the girls about their futures, and when they find out what I do the majority immediate reaction is that, "that job is for boys" of course they are some girls that are fascinated and want to study civil engineering as well, I want to give these girls an opportunity, encouragement and mentorship that my father gave to me when everyone thought I should go for courses all the girls were studying I want to show them that they can be the change in their community and I hope they can too pass it on to the next generation. But in order for these girls to have the chance we need to remove barriers that come in the form of lack of infrastructure in their communities we need to give them infrastructure not just infrastructure but sustainable infrastructure we need to build schools, we need to give them health care facilities, water and sanitation facilities and finally we need to fix the roads and bridges so that they have safe access to these facilities. We as a whole need to come to terms with the fact that civil engineering is not just about modernizing cities it can change a child's future through rural development.
My passion is providing access through effective transport planning because I believe this is the foundation for rural development and empowering the girl child, we cannot talk about building schools, health facilities water and sanitation facilities if we cannot get to these targeted areas. Unfortunately, the rural transport network in Malawi is generally in a very poor state so much so that only 21% of the road network can be classified as good and this has a detrimentally effect on the 80% of Malawi's population which includes 4.6 million children in schools living in rural areas.
Limited funds and resources for road construction and even maintenance is always a hindering factor in the development of infrastructure and is the main reason why the roads network is such in a poor condition, which leaves us no choice but to think of sustainability, meaning that we can not only think about the construction of new roads but we to plan on how we can preserve these roads for as long as we possibly can. My experience working with the national roads Authority in Malawi to plan new construction and maintain the current ones using modern technology such as Roadroid in road condition monitoring and Geo-Information Systems (GIS) has opened me up what a big difference small changes can make it has proven cost-effective reliable and sustainable way of transport planning and maintenance
My Passion for civil engineering and Transport Planning, my 3.6/4 GPA attained during my undergraduate course and also my experience are what I feel make me suitable for this course. This Master's will equip me with the knowledge I need to improve rural access, through the design of sustainable infrastructure, this put together with the knowledge I have I already gained will help improve on policies and Transport planning procedures and this I believe will help girls flourish. Studying in the UK will a not only give me an opportunity to learn up to date transport planning methods that can be applied to real-world situations that will vastly improve my lives, it will also give me an opportunity to meet more talented people from other developing countries who share the same passion, people who i am confident will inspire, motivate and also encourage me. After my Master's degree program my plan is to get a job in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which will give me the opportunity to make a bigger impact as I will be working closely with communities and it will also give me the opportunity to continue to hold motivational talks and start a mentorship program in the local schools that will impact a lot of futures.