Moreblessings Shoko is an ambitious ITC alumna from Zimbabwe, and about to obtain her doctoral degree at the University of Cape Town’s Geomatics Division. She recently won the UT Marina van Damme Award 2017. Shoko aims to strengthen the position of women living in rural areas of Zimbabwe by developing reusable sanitary pads that can be distributed by a drone-based distribution system. Despite the thousands of kilometers between her and ITC, she’s always been a loyal reader of the ITC magazine. She also still keeps in touch with many alumni and lecturers she met when studying GIS at ITC in 2010. Enthusiastically, she tells us about her experiences at ITC: ‘I cherish my time at ITC a lot and I loved the Dutch culture. I especially remember the food festivals that ITC organised – they were fantastic! Meeting so many people from different nationalities and living in a new environment was quite a culture shock for me at first, but the atmosphere was great. Many students became good friends, and we all felt like we were one big family. All of us were there by ourselves, and though we had different backgrounds, we were now facing the same situation, sharing new experiences and having similar study goals and career ambitions.’ If Shoko ever wins another grant, she would buy drones and mapping technology to enhance her research and further strengthen the position of women in Zimbabwe.
Text: Marjolein Gosseling
Photos: Arjan Reef & ITC Faculty