Five IWSN-sponsored students attended this year’s National Youth Water and Sanitation Summit, which was jointly hosted by Monash South Africa, the National Department of Water and Sanitation and other partners including WESSA, TCTA and Randwater. The summit once again drew over 900 learners from grades six to twelve across all nine provinces of the country. At the gala dinner event, held on 1 July 2015, the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Pam Tshwete, explicitly thanked Monash South Africa for their ongoing commitment and support of the National Department in co-hosting the Youth Summit event.
Between the formalities of the gala dinner, the Deputy Minister made time to engage with her Monash guests. One of them said: “It was humbling to me during the gala dinner as she [the Honourable Deputy Minister] spoke so passionately: ‘where is my Monash, my good friends, they have been so supportive, stand wherever you are’ – a sign of appreciation and acknowledgement of the Monash leadership’s contribution in the water sector”.
When students were asked at the end of the Summit what event or moment of significance had stood out for them they all indicated that meeting the Deputy Minister had been a great honour. One student said: “I had the wonderful blessing of meeting the Deputy Minister, who I found to be a very gentle and compassionate lady. I definitely learned a lot from her and she inspired me in terms of building my career for the near future”.