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King's Civic Challenge leads to job success for students

Screenshot of a Civic Challenge team on a video call

As part of King’s Civic Challenge, Zenab and Zu were among five students who teamed up with the Policy Centre for African Peoples (PCAP) to come up with an idea to address an issue affecting our local communities.

The PCAP team created a project to empower people in our neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth to overcome COVID by using African wellness techniques. PCAP were one of nine winning teams who were awarded £5,000 and a package of support to make their idea a reality.

After building strong relationships with the staff at PCAP, Zenab and Zu successfully applied for part-time roles with the charity.

We caught up with them to find out more about their new jobs and how the Civic Challenge helped them develop skills for the workplace.

Congratulations on your new roles! Can you introduce yourself and what you study at King’s?

Zu: My name is Mohammad Zubeir Woozeer, and I’m going into my second year at King’s, studying International Development.

Zenab: My name is Zenab Ali and I’m currently studying for my MSc in Mental Health Studies.

Zenab Ali (left) and Zu Woozeer (right), two students working at the charity PCAP
Zenab (left) and Zu (right)

What is your role at PCAP? 

Zu: I am the Engagement Officer at PCAP, which involves reaching out to partners and participants in our different projects, generally ensuring the smooth running of events and projects, along with managing the charity’s social media platforms.

I was actually planning to reach out to Sylvie, PCAP’s Director, to ask if they had any opportunities or job openings as I enjoyed my time working with the organisation throughout the Civic Challenge journey. But before I even could, she emailed me and asked if I was on the lookout for a job, and we went from there!

Zenab: So, at PCAP I’m the Programme and Fundraising Officer which involves supporting the day-today management and delivery of our programmes and raising appropriate funds to implement our projects. I was approached by a member of PCAP while we were working on the Civic Challenge who told me that PCAP had a vacancy that I should apply for. So, I thought about it and applied, didn’t get that job, but instead got this one!

What are you working on with PCAP? How’s your role going so far?

Zenab: PCAP have recently launched a couple of new great programmes, so I’ve been involved with promoting and outreach and just general admin. I’m really enjoying it so far, PCAP are a great charity and I just feel privileged to be working with them.

Zu: For example, I just wrapped up the Community Conversations project with the Mayor of London on the future of employment and skills in London.It has been very enriching as it allowed me to meet a diverse range of organisations and people who focus on bringing about positive change in the education and job sectors across London. The project has gone wonderfully and we have submitted our report to the Greater London Authority!

What’s next for your winning project, helping people overcome COVID using African wellness techniques?

Zenab: The project is still in its early phases but we’re currently producing the marketing materials and are gearing up for the outreach campaign!

Why did you want to take part in Civic Challenge?

Zenab: As someone who is not from London and moved here during the pandemic, I wanted to take part in something that would make me feel part of the King’s and wider community. Also, I wanted to be involved in a project that was meaningful and would create a positive social impact.

Zu: I have always been a very humanitarian person – someone who always had in mind the welfare of others around me. So, automatically, the Civic Challenge allowed me to do exactly that.

What was your experience of King’s Civic Challenge like?

Zenab: It was challenging and required a lot more hours of work than I thought it would. But equally, it was so rewarding and fulfilling because it really felt like we were creating a great project and eventually all our hard work paid off.

Zu: It was incredibly enriching and allowed me to develop myself more! King’s Civic Challenge enabled me to be more in touch with the different drivers of positive change in London and has made me realise the different struggles that people face on the daily in such a developed city.

What would you say to other students considering taking part in King’s Civic Challenge?

Zenab I would say go for it and get involved! It’s a unique opportunity and taking part was definitely one of the highlights of my experience at King’s. You can meet so many like-minded individuals, work with an amazing charity and gain such valuable experience.

Zu: I would also tell them to go for it! Being a generally anxious person, I was a little bit nervous about doing the Challenge, I doubted my abilities. But it was honestly the most holistically life-changing experience – and that statement does not apply to you as an individual but to London as a whole because the aim of the Challenge is to make positive change in our city. And, who knows, you might even develop the skills you need to score a job through the Civic Challenge!