In December 2021, the inaugural class from the USAP Community School graduated following the completion of their studies. As part of the USAPCS curriculum, each student took part in the Research Capstone class, a project-based class that invites students to define and solve problems in their community. The purpose of Capstone is to expose students to a wide range of research methods that students can apply to the problems they observe in their communities.
The class culminated in a Capstone showcase where students presented their research findings to their peers and external guests, and included pitches by students applying for funding to implement the solutions students designed and prototyped as post-graduation Capstone Fellowships. The following fellows were selected and will be working on implementing their projects for the next 6 months.
Meet the Fellows
Research Title: The Dog’s Best Friend is his Illiteracy”: Why we Need to Fight Illiteracy
“There is a strong correlation between illiteracy and poverty, poor health, and crimes The best way of solving these problems is educating each and every person in the society. To break the poverty cycle in Paradzai village, a village in Zaka district, I’m going to build a free school. This would give a learning opportunity to children from low-income.“
Research Title: “lt’s Easier to Build Strong Children Than to Repair Broken Men”: Denial of Property Rights (property stripping) in Africa
“It all started years ago when women were inherited as property when their husbands died, now it has reached the extent of leaving children destitute due to certain reasons e.g. greed. It’s high time this stopped completely, let’s educate children on their rights now, no one is safe.“
Research Title: Causes and impacts of lack of academic resources at Doma Secondary School
Blessed researched the resource inequity between Zimbabwean rural vs urban secondary schools. For capstone fellowship, Blessed will be living and working at Doma Secondary School in Mhangura, Mashonaland West, trying to develop the poorly-resourced school by mobilizing community support.
Research Title: It’s Time We Saved Lives: Investigating The Major Causes of Diarrhoeal Diseases in Mazowe Rural District.
“Very few people have access to tapped and borehole water in Glendale community leading to people using water straight from dams and rivers. The consumption of contaminated water has led to the increase in the number of diarrhoeal cases recently. I am going to build a water filtration system to be used in homes by the people. It’s time we saved lives.”
Research Title: Mudzimu Wakupa Chironda Wati Nhunzi Dzikudye: Stroke a Silent Growing Epidemic in Zimbabwe.
“Incidence of strokes and community-based interventions that can improve the quality of life of stroke survivors and their families. Provision of basic stroke rehabilitation to stroke survivors who cannot afford rehabilitation expenses.”
Research Title: Some Men Went to the Forest and Saw No Firewood: Alleviation of High Firewood Demand
“High demand of wood (cooking fuel) as the electrification program has failed to alleviate the high rate of the firewood use for basic thermal applications which is leading to deforestation and its adverse effects. Making transition to the use of less firewood consuming stoves is what I am looking forward to many people in my area.”
Research Title: Reimagining Rural Education: Building a Bridge Between Rural -Urban Education Gap in Zimbabwe
“Building a bridge between rural -urban education through equipping the rural students with the basic skills and resources they need in order for them to in their education.”
Research Title: Sign language in the Education System: Making Sign Language one of the Learnt Subjects.
“There is an education system in Zimbabwe that lacks Sign language. This has resulted in deaf students learning in a language that is not their first language, and a they also receive inadequate services. What can be done to eradicate this big problem. I will be learning SL and looking forward to teaching it to people.”
Research Title: Giving Birth and Then?: How Teenage Pregnancy Affects Youth’s Education in Tongogara Refugee Camp
“Due to lack of information on sexual education, peer pressure, and cultural beliefs, youths in Tongogara Refugee Camp have been involved in teenage pregnancy. This leads to incomplete of their studies. Hence, few youths are able to have outstanding education of their lives. Proving deep insights on sexual education and supporting teen mothers to continue with their studies will help youths take long term direction towards which to strive.”
Research Title: What is Missing?: The Continued Rise of Teenage Pregnancies.
Teenagers are getting pregnant in high numbers at a time when contraceptives are available. What is missing in this generation?
Research Title: Artists’ Lives Matter: Saving the Arts By Serving Artists
Saving the arts through serving artists. The arts: performing, visual, literary, decorative, and architecture, are undermined in Zimbabwe and artistic youth can neither study them nor take them up as professions as they wish to. Opportunities need to be created for these young artists to begin their artistic journeys, hence the mentorship program I am creating that links an established artist with three young artists in a specific field for mentorship. Artists lives matter, and no one should deprive them of accomplishing their dreams.
Research Title: “Tshiya phela khonokho okukhona”: Drug and substance abuse among young adults and adolescents
“Project is Drug and Substance Abuse Among Adolescents in Nkulumane Bulawayo. Proposed solution is to start a dance group and interactive youth organisation”