Thirty-six Zim youth leaders participate in 2018 Washington Fellowship program

2018 Zimbabwe participants to the Mandela Washington Fellowship program

Harare, June 29 2018– Thirty six Zimbabwean youth leaders that left for the United States mid-June to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship program have settled in and are engaging their American and African counterparts in a search for solutions to current challenges in governance and business sector.

“It has been smooth sailing since arriving in the United States,” says Candice Mbaita from Bulawayo. Candice says this is due to “the amazingly supportive academic team at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.” Candice is a diagnostic radiographer currently providing community-based medical imaging services such as ultrasound to rural, remote and marginalized areas in various parts of Southern Zimbabwe.

She is participating in the civic track and the content of the program is something that she was looking forward to. “In the past week we have already had a comprehensive mix of academic seminars, cultural visits, professional skills building and leadership training,” says Candice. “I look forward to the scheduled professional development mentorship, community service and networking yet to come.”

Another fellow, Anoziva Marindire, says her work with Girls Speak Out, a non-profit after-schools program for girls living Zimbabwe’s high density-low income suburbs, training girls to code and use digital media to solve problems in their communities- will be enhanced by her experiences so far. “I have settled really well, Wagner College & the Staten Island Community have been really welcoming,” she said.

“We went to New York City, had a history tour of the city, visited Trinity Church where George Washington used to attend church, visited Wall Street and saw the New York Stock Exchange, the 9/11 memorial square, Brooklyn Bridge, Time Square,” said Anoziva. Anoziva is video- blogging her experiences and sharing the content on Facebook to inspire other young Zimbabwean leaders.

She said she was looking forward to engaging fellow African youth leaders on issues of good governance in civic organizations and to connect with organizations working in the areas of quality education in the USA.

Anoziva and Candice are part of the thirty six young Zimbabweans who traveled to the United States to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The program brings together 700 young leaders from across Africa to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young leaders with the American people, and with each another.

During their six-week visit, 28 U.S. universities will host 700 Fellows from sub-Saharan Africa for leadership training, networking and academic coursework, focused on civic leadership, public management, or business and entrepreneurship.  Two Zimbabwean Fellows will join 98 other young African leaders for an additional six-week “Professional Development Experience” at a relevant company or organization.

Congratulating the young leaders at a reception prior to their departure, Charge d’ Affaires Jennifer Savage encouraged the Zimbabweans to explore the United States whilst searching for solutions to current challenges.

“You are here today because you have already demonstrated the drive and determination to inspire change and stimulate progress,” Charge’ Savage reminded the fellows. “You are going to be surrounded by some incredible people at your institutions in America and I urge you to work together, to pull each other in new directions, to support one another’s ideas; and to build a community of leaders.”

Mandela Washington Fellows, aged 25-35, reflect the diversity of the African continent, with participants coming from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and regions. Participants were selected for their record of promoting innovation and positive change within their organizations, communities and countries. The Mandela Washington Program was established in 2014, and just over 215 young Zimbabweans have participated in the program-  ZimPAS © June 29, 2018.