LSU student moves to eliminate socio-economic challenges

Bongani Tshuma said the socio-economic challenges faced in the village are the root causes of the problems faced by the youths.

A LUPANE State University (LSU) student who was struggling to pay fees has made waves in Khafa village under Chief Madhliwa, in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province with his project to eliminate the crippling socio-economic challenges faced by the youth.

After getting help from well-wishers, Bongani Tshuma, a second-year applied biotechnology student has formed an organisation aimed at offering free online lessons to students and mentorship programmes to the youth in Nkayi.

He formed the organisation called Zim Inclusive Leaning Trust with his colleague Melulwazi Dlamini.

“Professional life coaches and teachers volunteer to teach for free, we have managed to reach many students and also got sponsors to help a few academically gifted students. We want to expand the number of students to get sponsorship so that they attend school. As the representative of Nkayi in the organisation, I am working very hard to see our youths in Nkayi doing great,” Tshuma told Southern Eye.

This latest development comes after Tshuma observed, through his research, that people from his village were battling with early marriages, child pregnancies, school dropouts, high crime rates and other related social issues in the community.

Tshuma said the socio-economic challenges faced in the village are the root causes of the problems faced by the youths.

“Nkayi is grappling with persistent social and economic challenges, including early pregnancies and a high crime rate, which can be attributed to limited access to secondary education,” Tshuma said.

“The schools are approximately 12km away, forcing students to walk long distances, resulting in a high dropout rate. In fact, fewer than 3% of students have passed their O’ Levels in the past five years.”

He also observed that boys abandon their education to work as illegal miners, which ultimately harms the community with the police not adequately addressing the issues that arise.

“We have underprivileged learners in Nkayi who are academically gifted but they don’t get access to education,” he said.

Tshuma pleaded with the government to address these challenges by increasing the number of secondary schools in the area.

“We also seek assistance from individuals in the diaspora to invest in our community; introducing manual work programmes can help reduce youth unemployment,” he said.

“We must prioritise affordable education for every girl child in our community, many dropouts occur because parents or guardians are unable to fund school fees. We advocate a law that targets support for girls in rural areas and holds culprits accountable for their actions. We need stricter law enforcement to address the issues in our villages.”

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