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Zimbabwe Students Awarded U.S. Scholarships Helping Poor Children

Some underprivileged Zimbabwean students, recently granted scholarships by the United States Embassy in Harare to study in various U.S. universities, are investing in local communities ahead of their departure some time later in the year.

The students told VOA Wednesday that they are assisting disadvantaged children with their primary and secondary education at the Zimkids Orphan Trust in Bulawayo’s Pumula North suburb and Chiedza Child Care Center in Mbare, Harare.

Most of those getting assistance from the students are poor and child-headed families.

Those involved in the program are among 31 students on the United States Achievers Program who earned almost $7 million in scholarships this year.

One of the students, Nigel Mevana, said poor communities need a lot of help as Zimbabwe recovers from several years of economic decline.

"We used to face similar problems and as a result we are assisting the less privileged wholeheartedly," said Mevana.

Since the establishment of the program in 1999 in Harare, over 200 Zimbabwean students have benefited from the program, winning full scholarships covering tuition and boarding fees, books and other expenses for four year bachelor degree studies.

An initiative of the U.S. Embassy in Harare, the USAP has been replicated in 14 countries on four continents.