Nineteen jobless university graduates in Zimbabwe have formed an organization committed to serving their communities for free as they try to beat the country’s unemployment crisis.
The Game Changers Group, comprising graduates who recently completed their studies from Bindura State University, says this will allow its members to use the knowledge and skills they earned in college to serve local communities.
Group chairperson, Adam Tafadzwa Mukushi, said the group is already changing lives and earning new skills through volunteering.
He said their purpose is to build something out of nothing. “We have realized that there are a lot of social problems in our communities, there are no jobs, the crime rate is rising every day, there is prostitution and poverty is increasing. So, as recent graduates we have decided to help where we can through empowering the disadvantaged people using limited resources.”
The group is targeting unemployed youth especially in high density suburbs, women, street kids, and children from residential care facilities. It is currently working in Harare and Bindura, where their active membership resides.
“We want to help youth do self-help projects, to educate the youth. Today (Tuesday) we were at Anglican Cathedral in Harare and gave the kids some lunch as our first initiative,” said Mukushi.
The group reflects the harsh realities of Zimbabwe’s university and college graduates.
Over 10,000 students graduate from Zimbabwe’s colleges and universities each year and most of them fail to get formal employment due to the harsh economic situation prevailing in the country.
Unemployment in the country is hovering above 80% though official statistics peg it at around 11%.
With degrees in engineering, medicine and accounting, many graduates are in the informal sector where they even sell airtime in the streets.
For Mukushi, like his counterparts, lack of jobs did not stop the group from thinking outside the box.
“Regarding the fact that all recent graduates are not experienced, it’s really a challenge. So, there’s no employment, what is left then for people to do is then maybe turn for things that are not expected of graduates. So, we tried to change that. We don’t want a situation whereby graduates wait for employment while doing nothing. We want to demonstrate to the community that we care and that we are committed in serving the community.”
Game Changers Group is expected to continue its efforts in Harare and Bundura with expectations to expand after opening up to other interested recent graduates and youth in Zimbabwe.