Founder of Development Reality Institute
2015 Climate Fellow
Development Reality Institute (DRI) runs a catalytic and innovative climate change capacity building program for youths in Africa. This dynamic and interactive platform uses a combination of Internet tools, knowledge management products, and an incubation fund to create the next generation of social entrepreneurs. The model puts knowledge at the center of changing attitudes and behaviors through a Climate Change Virtual School. This triggers environmental and societal benefits that avert poverty and income losses to already disadvantaged communities through the provision of skills that shape their behavior and decision making process. It also creates alternative sources of income for youths by enabling them to identify opportunities which they can exploit to compensate for financial losses accruing from changing environmental circumstances through provision of an incubation financing facility to test ideas.
Verengai is a young leader in climate change, social innovation, and sustainable development, with a keen interest in youth actions towards a better world. He is the founder and director of Development Reality Institute (DRI) which designs and manages the first Climate Change Virtual School in Africa. Verengai holds an honors degree in Regional and Urban Planning and a Postgraduate in Water and Sanitation. He has supported a number of upcoming youth organizations and is the founding president of Internet Society – Zimbabwe Chapter. Prior to DRI, he served as vice president of the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners and Chairman of the board for Action 24 and Flora Movement both environment NGOs. He sits on the technical advisory board of the Zimbabwe Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS and is an Advisor to the National Manpower Advisory Council under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Verengai received seven international accolades for innovation and creativity, including the UN-supported World Summit Award, Japanese award for the Most Innovative Development Project, Young ICT Innovator of the year Award, George Abraham Award, and ABC Continuity Forum Award. In 2013, he was elected into the Future Forward Fellowship, a MasterCard-Ashoka initiative for youth employability in Africa. Verengai is an Ashoka Global Fellow and a member of the BMW Foundation Young Leaders Forum.