A Zimbabwean, Patience Malaba, who is currently attached to a non-governmental organization, One America, catering for the needs of local communities, says her four-month learning experience in USA has been empowering.
Malaba told VOA Studio 7 she has been imparted with skills for capacitating communities in order to enhance democracy and economic empowerment.
She said, “It’s been really great for me because I have been able to work well with this organization. Their focus is essentially on five issues which are human rights and justice, education, immigration integration, environmental justice and economic justice.
“And in this work I have been able to get involved in the process of building power in immigrant communities, refugee communities and communities of colour. We build this power by making them to understand that they have the power to put politicians into positions of power and also to take them out of power and at the same time be able to demand accountability from those leaders that they put into power.”
Malaba acknowledged that it may be difficult for her to implement some of the issues learnt in USA in Zimbabwe due to political challenges associated with the country’s democratic processes.
“Some Zimbabwean leaders will certainly not be receptive to some of these ideas. As a result my plan will be to try and work with more like coalitions of a crop of leaders that identify with this kind of idea.”
Malaba is under the Community Solutions Program run by the International Research and Exchanges Board on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
At least three Zimbabweans are currently under the program while several others have been part of the scheme that attaches young leaders to organizations of their choice.