Generosity and Creativity Unleashed

May 8, 2020 - Nashville, TN—Thank you to Africa University's friends and supporters for #GivingTuesdayNow gifts totaling $89,356. Your generosity, unleashed through the special appeal on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, is supporting the university's COVID-19 pandemic-related efforts.

Africa University's contributions are ongoing. They include support for testing and contact tracing in the community as well as the production of sanitizer and face masks on its main campus.

The Government of Zimbabwe has extended the restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus to May 18. Zimbabwe is reporting a total of 34 coronavirus cases as of today, with nine recoveries and four deaths. The African continent as a whole is reporting more than 53,000 confirmed cases, with 18,000 recoveries and 2,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19.

Kudos for AU's bold choices:

This week, the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE)—the national body responsible for accreditation and quality control in higher education sector—affirmed  Africa University's decision to move forward with an online student assessment (examinations) plan. 

ZIMCHE's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Kuzvinetsa P Dzvimbo, wrote that with its choices, Africa University has "disrupted the University and more than "flipped" it.

"COVID-19 has ushered in a new era of teaching, and how students learn and how we assess and examine them," Prof. Dzvimbo noted in an email to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Munashe Furusa.

"I like the fact that you are not focusing on challenges of connectivity and bandwidth for your students and staff," said Dzvimbo.  "You are re-thinking the way we think about learning, teaching, assessment and examination today."

Examinations begin on Monday, May 11 and end on June 5. Students will receive their examination questions on the university's learning management platform, Moodle, and have a 48-hour window to submit their responses online.

Students reach out on #GivingTuesdayNow:

The Giving Tuesday initiative, launched in 2012 to encourage people to be generous and come together to do good, has grown into a vibrant global movement that recognizes that "everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts." 

That's a philosophy that resonates with Africa University's students. On #GivingTuesdayNow, students who are sheltering in place on the campus, unable to travel to their home countries, took donations of farm produce and other necessities to hard-hit families in the wider community.

“We have learnt from those (who are) sacrificing for us to be here, so we can also sacrifice the little that we have for those who are less privileged," said Fiston Okito, a Congolese student and scholarship recipient who is due to graduate in June.

Click here for a video 'Thank You' from Fiston Okito as he reflects on his Africa University education.

Thank you for equipping the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Africa University to serve, lead and be the change they want to see in the world. Together, we are changing the narrative!

Next week, the campus update will focus on the welfare of Africa University staff in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.