Since completing my ICS placement working alongside a local Zimbabwean charity, Simukai; I decided to start a motivational speaking project aimed at young people in Primary and Secondary education to encourage staying in school, safe sex and a life without drug abuse.

At first my plans to undertake the motivational speaking project were delayed. Attempts to carry out a motivational presentation were made at different schools mainly in Shurugwi, Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, they all requested a letter of approval from the ministry responsible for both primary and secondary education. I decided to try my luck in Harare with Tafara 2 High School, which is located in Old Tafara, who accepted my request.

On the same day that the school accepted my request to speak with their pupils, I was asked to present. I was not prepared to talk to a large gathering, but I remembered all that I had gained during my ICS placement and I was able to picture what I wanted to say.

A man presents to a large crowd of school pupils

There is a large number of students who attend the school that live in Old Tafara who are affected by the uncertain economy and a lack of community. Some of the students are exposed to drug abuse, unsafe sex, theft and other societal issues. However, many are really focused and motivated young people who really want to make something of themselves in this life, escape the shackles of poverty and harsh conditions. As someone who lives in this neighbourhood, I have experienced, first hand, the harsh realities of life there. Therefore, I am motivated to talk to the young people on how best they can change their lives if they remain focused and determined.

This presentation gave me the opportunity to address around 600 students on different challenges they are facing every day. I assured the students that they can change their lives if they apply all their efforts into their school work and also in ways they handle themselves both at school or home. I also covered some of the focus areas of Progressio ICS activities, including Income Generating Activities (IGA’s), Child Rights, Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), and HIV and AIDS.

Following the session, I was asked many questions about my presentation by the students and the head teacher has asked me to hold a talk with the students on a regular basis.

A man presents to a large crowd of school pupils

The experience I gained during my ICS placement was really essential in making this project a success. It has given me the necessary skills and confidence to complete my any task. My ICS placement in Mutare, Zimbabwe improved my people skills and enabled me to function properly as part of a multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural group. It also developed my ability to speak publicly with little trouble. The leadership qualities in me were activated. In addition, I enjoyed facilitating and leading when running workshops and different activities with the beneficiaries during my ICS placement.

Favourite Quote: “Never let anyone tell you that the Sky is the limit when there are foot prints on the moon”.