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3 Zimbabweans on Youth Leadership Program Arrive in USA

(Left to right): Sibongile Mbanje, Joseph Lansburg, Rufaro Kabasa and Brian Sibanda, with Thando Sibanda, youth coordinator at the U.S. Embassy. (Courtesy Photo)
Three Zimbabwean students have arrived in Washington DC for a three-week Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program focusing on participatory democracy and grassroots needs of youths in USA and African nations.

U.S. Embassy spokesperson Karen Kelley said Brian Sibanda, Joseph Lansburg and Rufaro Kabasa are expected to discuss a wide-range of issues affecting their communities and determine innovative solutions for some challenges facing their localities.

Kelley said the program, an initiative of the U.S department of State, is designed to foster understanding between African and American youth leaders.

“It seeks to develop a network of young adults with strong leadership skills and an understanding of participatory democracy,” she said.

The students will spend three weeks in Washington DC, Indiana, Illinois and Chicago with 24 other African youths.

Each of these students has been part of a two-year long English Access Microscholarship Program supported by the US government.

Lansburg and Kabasa have participated in the Access Program through the Chiedza Care Center based in Waterfalls outside Harare since 2012. More than 70,000 students in more than 85 nations have participated in the Access Program, launched in 2004 by the U.S State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Brian, a Lower Sixth student at Maranatha High School in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, hopes to spearhead the implementation of projects on teenage pregnancy and youth unemployment when he returns home.