Following the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, primary and secondary education flourished. However, there were limited opportunities for young people to continue into further and higher education. ZET sought to address this problem by helping disadvantaged students travel to the UK and gain places at colleges and universities in the UK. Our goal was to help the new generation of Zimbabweans to gain the knowledge and skills needed to drive forward the nation’s development.
Over a 17 year period, over 1,000 young Zimbabweans were helped to access further and higher education. ZET negotiated with education providers to obtain fee waivers or reducations, and helped to find accommodation for these students when the arrived in the UK. However, in 2006 – as diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and the UK were becoming increasingly strained – 15 of our prospective students were all refused visas to enter the UK.
It became clear that the political climate of the day rendered our work impossible. For that reason – coupled with evidence that the educational advances of the 1980s and 1990s in Zimbabwe were being reversed – ZET shifted its focus to support charitable educational initiatives within Zimbabwe.