The United States has provided $6 million worth of scholarships to 28 economically disadvantaged but academically gifted Zimbabwean students under the United States Achievers Program (USAP).
At a send-off ceremony for the students, who are going to study at some of the top universities in America, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton, said the USAP program has seen talented Zimbabweans excelling at some of the best universities in the world.
He said the recipients will no doubt help develop their country upon return.
Mr. Wharton said the program opens opportunities for participants in the US and in Zimbabwe.
All the students were grateful for making it under the USAP program, adding that without the US embassy education section’s assistance, they would not have realized their dream of studying at some of the top universities in the world.
Charity Bhebhe from Matabeleland North, who is headed for Arizona State University where she will study public health and women empowerment, said she will come back to assist the disadvantaged women in her community.
Burzil Mupasiri, who was raised by a single parent, also said without USAP, university education would have been a pipe dream.
Another student, Tatenda Nyandoro, who had started economics studies at the University of Zimbabwe since his program of choice is not offered locally, said USAP has enabled him to pursue his dream.
The Monday ceremony was attended by former USAP graduands. Some of them have completed their studies and are already working in Zimbabwe. Parents, relatives and friends of the 2014 USAP class also attended the event.
Since the launch of the program 14 years ago, more than 1,200 Zimbabwean students have completed their studies or are enrolled at American universities.
An initiative of the US Embassy in Harare, USAP has been replicated in 12 countries on four continents.