An Interview with Kudzai Mukaratirwa
Kudzai Mukaratirwa is currently the director of OMUN, an online MUN program. Leading over twenty eight schools and universities across fifteen different nations, Kudzai remains an important figure in the world of MUN. Having a variety of experience in the NGO field, with Red Cross and several UN bodies, he was most recently a participant at an expert group meeting at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, where he presented on new approaches to MUN. In our conversation, we discussed topics ranging from OMUN, to his different experiences, and what makes QLC significant.
What attracts you to QLC?
Three major things, the people, the potential and the place. QLC welcomes a unique network of professionals, academics and students. It is the ideal place for people interested in education, innovation and youth leadership to gather and learn as well as share ideas, knowledge and skills on advancing global citizenship, education and SDGs. Secondly, QLC is a sea of potential from the youngest of students to the veteran attendees and presenters all in the same places with the same spirit and energy, you can’t help but feel something special will be the end product. Finally the place, Qatar, despite recent strained diplomatic relations is the home of Doha Declaration and foundation of many great initiatives to come. What better place to be to get involved than QLC!
Being the director of OMUN means you get an in-depth look at a growing community; how do you think the rise of OMUN has impacted MUN as a whole?
I believe the rise of OMUN has created greater and more inclusive accessibility to MUN and quality educational programs. Especially to young people and students in developing and conflict regions.With technology, comes innovation and as the world evolves so must MUN to incorporate technology to diversify it utility as well as go beyond the conference room and be responsible for social impact in communities on the ground. This is the direction OMUN is currently taking.
Your experience is unique in that you have had significant UN experience but have also returned to help in the growth of MUN, where do you see the value of MUN for upcoming students?
Looking back to when I was a student MUN taught me to develop an inquiring mind and figure out what this “mysterious” UN does. Through my experience with a few UN bodies I realized that it is all about collaboration. Finding specific problems faced by nations, communities and societies gathering solutions to these problems and working collectively towards a shared goal that goes beyond just UN bodies. I believe the value of MUN to upcoming students is finding common ground and collectively working towards a shared goal regardless of where you are from of what you align with. Achieving the goal TOGETHER remains the objective.
One of your workshops discusses becoming more proactive in one’s community; where did this desire to be proactive begin for you?
It began in high school and carried on into university. When I realized my university and some of its clubs and societies were not carrying out the initiatives and opportunities the students or community needed I decided to create them myself. It is better to create than to complain. (Major key alert.)
What has you excited about this year’s conference?
This year’s conference is more SDG orientated and I am strongly hoping that it will lead to discussions that will result in on the ground implementation of ideas. As well as create new partnerships and networks between individuals and organisations.