Zimbabwe University Students In UK Get Grant For Lonely No More Project

Zimbabwe University Students In UK Get Grant For Lonely No More Project

Crazy thoughts always dwell in the university students minds around the world they are always coming up with new ideas every time and again. In such scenario and twist of invents, UK based Zimbabwe university Students have come up with a project to curb high Levels of Loneliness of students from Universities around the world.

The project has been implemented by the Zimbabwe-United Kingdom Students Network (ZIMUKSN) and over 30 university students and youth will converge at Brighton in the United Kingdom in December for training aimed at addressing high levels of loneliness and social isolation facing their collegues and minorities in Europe.

ZIMUKSN, an assortment of Zimbabwean students studying in the UK has secured funding for the youth mobility project, known as ‘Lonely No More’, from Erasmus, the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport. The grant is worth €32,800 (US$37,400). Reported Tonderayi Mukeredzi.

The students and youths, who are drawn from the African, Caribbean Pacific, Eastern European and European minority communities, will be in Brighton from 9-15 December.

The loneliness-busting project plans to increase cross-cultural awareness, solidarity and understanding of the positive impacts that diversity and all-inclusive citizen participation have on European integration. It aims to implement several initiatives like the role models project that will partner youths from minority communities with professionals in different sectors of the host and partner countries.

ZIMUKSN Project Manager Joshua Chivanga said his organisation was delighted to secure funding from Erasmus to conduct the project.

“Over 30 students and other young people will benefit from the project and the opportunities it will provide to address social exclusion and loneliness among the most vulnerable youths in our societies. The project was influenced by lived experiences and challenges the youths face as a result of loneliness, with negative consequences such as suicide, depression and radicalisation,” he said.

The project comes against a backdrop of growing sentiments of fascism and individualism in Europe at the political level and increasing danger of this cascading down to the public.

Almost half of UK students (46%) admitted to loneliness during their time at university compared to 32% globally with UK students most likely (at 37%) to consider dropping out compared to their worldwide counterparts, according to a university lifestyle global report published by Sodexo last year.

Against this backdrop the ‘Lonely No More’ youth mobility project hopes to inculcate in youths a spirit of togetherness and unity in the context of different religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race and gender, and to involve them in the fight towards uniting Europe and the world, given the inevitable cracks being caused by the disintegration of the regional bloc.

Established to give a voice and to advance the cause of Zimbabwean students in the UK, ZIMUKSN also promotes intercultural exchanges for students between the UK, Zimbabwe and the rest of Europe.

Erasmus has expended about €14.7 billion on the development of knowledge and skills and quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Between 2014 and 2020, two thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad. Report by Tonderayi Mukeredzi.

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