Mantoa Molengoane has a dream: to be able to make a difference at a non-profit organisation. Her dream started to become a reality when she went to Australia to study a Masters in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
Mantoa wanted to acquire skills to enable her to set practices in place aimed at helping the disadvantaged. “I believed that the skills I acquired at CMU, coupled with the skills that I already have, can help me achieve my dream”, she says.
Mantoa is a Lesotho national, who went to study in Australia in 2007. She says that the experience broadened her views, making her appreciate and consider other people’s ideas and perspectives. “Interacting with people from different backgrounds at CMU has made me develop a different approach towards my colleagues, and people in general. I no longer take things as they are, I explore different ideas and weigh options before I make decisions”, she says.
“I see myself playing a prominent role in helping people who are not as fortunate as I have been,” Mantoa continues. “My aim is to run an organisation that addresses major issues facing people in my country. I would like to see my country being more developed than it is now. We can only achieve if we plan, but after planning we need implementation as well.”
Mantoa believes that she has contributed to the development of her country, but says she knows that she can do more if given the opportunity to put her skills to use; especially the skills she acquired in Australia. “I wish my country would realise that we cannot live on aid indefinitely. We need to start working harder towards independence. I would also like to see our leaders committing to realising the global development goals,” she says.
Mantoa says that lasting friendships and a network of professionals were the best things that happened as a result of the scholarship. “We are still in close contact and help solve each other’s problems whenever the need arises,” she says.
Mantoa has since returned to her country and received a promotion soon after arriving home.