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Zimbabweans Set to Participate in AIDS Walk Washington

Tinashe Basa seen with children at Ramaz School in Manhattan, USA. He delivered letters from their Zimkids pen pals and spent an hour talking with them about life in Zimbabwe.
Zimkids Orphan Trust Director, Tinashe Basa, has arrived in the United States, where he is meeting donors and is expected to participate in an annual AIDS Walk and attend a youth event sponsored by Ted, an international organization that spreads new ideas.

Basa told VOA Studio 7 that he will be among several dozen Zimbabweans that are set to take part in the October 26th AIDS Walk Washington.

He said, “I got a grant from the U.S Embassy in Harare to come to America to shadow the leaders of AIDS Walk which will be held on Saturday next week. I am going to be assessing the impact on volunteering and how the Whiteman-Walker Health conducts such big events.”

He hopes to acquire skills in organizing fundraising events with the view of doing similar activities back home.

Zimkids caters for less privileged girls and boys (Photo/Zimkids)
Zimkids caters for less privileged girls and boys (Photo/Zimkids)
““I am hoping to do something related to this event in Zimbabwe when I get back home. At the same time, I will attend Ted Youth Day on November 16. I will be one of the guests. I hope to share some ideas with youths from the USA,” said Basa.

Every year, America’s major AIDS service providers organize AIDS Walks in various cities to raise funds for the coming year and create awareness of the continuing toll of AIDS in America.

The 5-kilometer AIDS Walk Washington benefits and is produced by Whitman-Walker Health, a non-profit community-based health organization which provides dependable, high-quality, comprehensive and accessible health care to those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

On the other hand, Ted Youth Day is normally held late November around Universal Children’s Day. It is designed to empower and inspire young people.

More than 20 scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists, performers and others will this year share short lessons on what they do best.

Zimkids children at the Pumula center, Bulawayo.
Zimkids children at the Pumula center, Bulawayo.
Basa will be one of the speakers expected to share information about his life experiences and Zimkids Orphan Trust in Bulawayo’s Pumula high density suburb, which offers various programmes to 200 less privileged children.

Basa said, “We teach kids how to use computers, welding, sewing and other activities. We also have a library and provide psycho-social support for children after school.

"We have noted that there are some children who are not good in the academic field, so we impart them with life skills which they will use in the near future,” said Basa, who was a founder of Zimkids.

The 25-year-old completed his Ordinary Level studies a few years ago and failed to continue his education due to lack of money.

“I am going to be sharing such information with my peers in USA to show that sometimes you can rise to the top even if one is a less privileged person. I am very happy about what I am doing for the community today,” he said.