Participating in U.S. Exchange programs is an honor that all alumni cherish. An honor to not only represent their beautiful small country in Southern Africa, but more so an honor to become part and parcel of a process that ushers people to greatness, a process that prepares them for greater responsibility by helping them to realize their potential and unleashing it in ways unimagined for the greater good. I believe that those who made the selection undoubtedly know how to identify potential and I hope the trust that they put in all these alumni when they chose them will continue to pay dividends.
Mr. Ambassador, as a result of all of U.S. Exchange Programs, the whole generation of the U.S. Zimbabwe cadre is developing in the country, working for the Zimbabwe government and NGO sector, Cooperate companies, civic society and international organizations. They possess necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of the country.
We believe that at this critical moment when the country is facing numerous challenges it is vital that skills and talents of Zimbabweans who have participated in U.S. Department programs be harnessed together so that they can actively participate in the search for answers and alternatives for the country. Their expertise and experience is more critical now given the intensive brain drain that has negatively impacted on the country as many skilled Zimbabweans have left the country for greener pastures in other countries.
For me exchanges were and still are more than mere programs. They remain a lifetime experience whose effects have assisted many to transform themselves. My observation is that you cannot go on any of the exchange programs and fail to change for the better, fail to stand out when you come back home, fail to impact positively on other people’s lives here in Zimbabwe. After an exchange program experience I have come to learn and accept that you cannot fail, you have to succeed.
This is why I must salute all alumni who continue to heed our call to action… Those continue to contribute to the development of the Zimbabwe we all want through various platforms, means and ways. . Most if not all of our programs depend on you volunteering your precious time. Your willingness to invest your time to do something good and life changing only gaining satisfaction in knowing that you have played your part in the best possible way has transformed many lives.
With support from the Embassy and State Department we will continue developing programs and activities as well as create platforms through which members can use their various experiences to give back to society.
As alumni, You have made it possible for us to multiply results, impact positively on our country and to paint a true picture of what exchanges are …. We have become Ambassadors. So if anyone thought Ambassador Bruce Wharton was the only ambassador for the United States in this room you are wrong, there are hundreds of you now doing all sorts of good work across the country.
Through exchanges seeds continue to be planted in many of us. We have seen these seeds germinate and produce fruits in unlimited quantities making it possible for everyone to expand their World.
In conclusion, I want to thank U.S. Embassy for the great work you are doing through facilitating exchanges. They are not just touching lives but transforming them both here in Zimbabwe and in the United States. They are making a difference in how people of different nations relate and treat each other. We thank the American people who continue to not only open their homes but also their hearts to us when we visit.
To all alumni you make us proud. The foot prints of your work is engraved in many developmental initiatives that we continue to witness in Zimbabwe.
It is not an easy road but we do understand that the road to success has many detours because it is always under construction
God bless you, God bless America and God bless Zimbabwe.