With the help of other former Makomborero students – Takudzwanashe, Belinda, Roy and Kuda, Tatenda ran a community give back project going by the name ACT (Action for Community Transformation).

The group started the program by sending out application forms to high school students in Epworth. Applying into the program helped the team to know the students better and to design a program that would better suit their needs. The selection process was very tough as all the students demonstrated stories of thriving to survive, stories of the high school students as sole breadwinners, stories of abuse, dreams of a better future, only to mention a few. 24 students were selected to be a part of the program.

In August this year (2019), the students were invited for a one-week mentorship workshop at Epworth High. The workshop was aimed at connecting the students to opportunities, equipping them with entrepreneurship skills, instilling team spirit, inspiring creativity as well as creating long lasting friendships with the students. The students had the opportunity to connect to university students who are studying what they intend to, and they got a deeper insight into university life. Zimbabwean students studying abroad also volunteered to be mentors, communicating with the students via WhatsApp. It was such a pleasure to have young enthusiastic speakers: Eugene, an entrepreneur and founder of Netro-Zim, and Chris, a motivational speaker and founder of Maker’s Touch, a youth driven non-profit organization.

The week passed by so fast as each and every day was packed with activities that everyone enjoyed. Looking back, the group learnt as much as the students did, if not more. The last day was very emotional, students showcased their talents, and presented their entrepreneurship project. Some of the most amazing ideas were pitched. It’s rather surprising to imagine that the students only had 3 days to come up with the ideas. The devotion they had towards their projects was impressive.

ACT’s long-term goal is to register ACT as a non-profit organization in Zimbabwe. The dream is to hold workshops with students in the most remote parts of the country, connect the least informed students to opportunities and be witnesses of how education can transform lives.

Special thanks to the MasterCard Foundation at ALA for wholly sponsoring this project.

Kuda, a past Makomborero student commented: “ACT gave me a platform to wholeheartedly plough back to the community that nurtured me into the person I am today. Talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is limited, so I was curious about exposing the students to the feasibility of the coincidence between the two. We sparked interesting conversations with the students, and this allowed me to share my story with them, with the hope of widening and positively altering their perspectives. It is an undeniable fact that knowledge is power, and ACT allowed me to impart that power to them, with the aim of igniting a drive in them to continue thriving to transform their dreams into a reality, with substantial hope.

“I was highly thrilled, as the program also afforded me the opportunity to work with my fellow Makomborero students. Makomborero cultivated a spirit of family in us, that timelessly bonds us. We caught up with each other, our banter got renewed and there was profound resonance upon us as a team. Makomborero is, and will forever be a meaningful part of our lives.”