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City youths benefit from US programme


HOPE for a Child in Christ (HOCIC) on Thursday launched the second class of 40 students from Pumula and Mzilikazi for the English Access Micro Scholarship programme sponsored by the United States embassy.


The two-year programme established in 2012 with a group of 40 students from Nkulumane and Entumbane, was designed to assist disadvantaged students between the ages of 14 and 18 years improve their English language skills and confidence as well as to take part in doing community service activities, leadership skills, language skills, computer skills as well as educational tours.

Addressing the students during the launch at McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi, US ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton said the programme would build strong relations between US and Zimbabwe.

“The success of the Access programme here in Bulawayo and the launch of the second programme is a testimony of the great team effort and solid partnership between HOCIC and the US embassy. We are stronger when we work together, Zimbabwe and the US,” said Wharton.

He said the success of the programme showed that the US had Zimbabwean citizens at heart.

“This also shows US commitment to continued engagement with Zimbabwean citizens beyond diplomatic engagement that my office does on daily basis as it enables us to engage Zimbabweans throughout the country,” Wharton added.

He also highlighted that the programme would boost the students’ confidence levels in terms of communication as it comes with skills that can lead to better employment and educational prospects.

“As part of this programme you will also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the US and become part of the big family of 70 000 students in more than 85 countries that have participated in the Access programme,” he said.

However, Wharton urged incoming students to take the programme seriously as it opened opportunities for them.

“I believe that you will reach your dreams more efficiently after regular participation in this programme,” he added.

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