The Catholic University in Zimbabwe (CUZ) recently beat other universities in the country to clinch the Boost Students in Free Enterprise (Sife) national competition held in Harare.

CUZ’s projects sought to help the underprivileged in rural settings, particularly orphans and prisoners, and impressed the judges because of their sustainability.

In Karoi (approximately 85 kilometres by road northwest of Chinhoyi), the Catholic University students were rehabilitating former prisoners and improving prison libraries in collaboration with Zimbabwe Prisons Ministries and the Rotary International. “Through our market gardening project in Karoi, prisoners are paid USD120 per month, which they will get upon release. We have also equipped them with business and economic skills,” said Nevanji Madanhire, of CUZ’s Sife programme.

Midlands State University, Chinhoyi University of Technology and the University of Zimbabwe came second, third and fourth respectively. Winners walked away with printers, laptops and projectors.

Boost fellowship programme officer, Tanatsa Mparadzi, said the Sife Zimbabwe National Programme was premised on the principle that there were opportunities that must be tapped into even during times of hardships.

Other universities which took part in the competitions include Adventist-run Solusi, Women’s University in Africa and Bindura University of Science Education. Sife is an international network of university students initiated in the United States in 2000.