Nineteen Zimbabwean students on break between studies at universities in Canada, the United States and Ashesi University in Ghana today (26 July 2019) graduated from the Zimbabwe Career Connect internship program. Based in Bulawayo and Harare, the students spent the two months of June and July learning and contributing as interns at prominent companies and organizations in Zimbabwe.
In its fifth year, the ZCC program encourages students to experience and reflect on their experiences being back at home not as students, but as young professionals through weekly Friday morning gatherings at Education Matters, where interns discuss issues relevant to returning to make a positive impact in Zimbabwe. The interns also engaged in community service activities, including as speakers at EducationUSA college fairs in Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare and Mutare. They all worked on research projects which culminated in poster presentations at today’s graduation.
At today’s graduation, guest of honor Dr. Nozipo Maraire, a U.S. educated neurosurgeon and co-director of Ecosurgica, encouraged the students to consider an eventual return to Zimbabwe: “The journey of coming and going is the way Zimbabwe is being built.” She told the interns that in order to make an impact in Zimbabwe, they have to remember and forget: remember what is essential to one’s core, where they come from and forget the limitations of what they have experienced as Zimbabwe. Ecosurgica has been a ZCC partner for five years. Dr. Maraire mentored two students from this year’s cohort.
Education Matters is grateful to the internship hosts this year: AdvisoryK, Bayethe Development Institute, CITE, Econet, Ecosurgica, Liquid Telecom, Portify Investments, Public Auditors and Accountants Board (PAAB), Reclon Consultants, United Refineries Limited (URL), Webstel Computer Systems, and ZOL.
The students are between their second and third or third and fourth year of university at Ashesi University in Ghana, University of British Columbia in Canada and Carleton, Concordia, Lafayette, Lehigh, Pomona, Rochester, St Olaf, Smith, University of Southern Indiana and Yale in the United States.