We formed Pachipamwe to cater for the needs of young professionals returning to Zimbabwe after spending some years outside the country. We don’t know the exact figure of how many people have left the country for tertiary education but if we were to guess we would say multitudes upon multitudes!
The problem we have seen from our experience returning home, those of friends and colleagues, and from working with students applying and studying abroad, is that there are no structures set up to receive folks as return home. How do you find housing? What internet plan is best?
On the other hand employers who know the benefits of having a diversity of ideas and backgrounds on their teams are anxious to hire folks who are returning but do not know where to find them. A lot of them reach out informally and we have to scramble by word of mouth to find a person that suits their needs. After doing this a couple of times it becomes clear that it would save everyone a bit of time if we just organized ourselves a bit. Pachipamwe does not pretend to have found a solution to any of these issues but endeavors to give people just a place to start.
Following Bagehot we can say the above are the ‘efficient’imperatives for a community like this. The ‘dignified’ side of this is that when most of our young people leave the country to gain a degree elsewhere, they are not only doing it for themselves and their immediate folks, but with contributing towards the betterment of their society in mind. Therefore any organisation that limits itself to helping returning folks navigate qoutidian mazes and points others in their direction, neglects the deepest hopes and longings of those who have left and chose to return. At our highest aspiration as an orginization and as a community we would have contributed to meeting this deep need. The range of needs and longings of a unique demographic such as the Pachipamwe community is why you will see on our calendar a happy hour right next to a serious discussion about restructuring our education or happening together!