SKIA - Street Kids In Action
His Tertiary Project was one of grass-roots development to reach out to street children and young adults through a program called, Street Kids In Action. This educational/vocational program brought together interested parties in the African community to make an attempt to solve the 'street problem'. Concerted efforts resulted in substantial funds being raised to offer opportunities to these at-risk young people. He hopes the program is continuing to solve this problem, and he is happy that he played a role in providing the stimulus to generate this kind of activity.
As a Tertiary Project, Mr. Chambers initiated, and advised SKIA (Street Kids In Action), a youth development program for at-risk youth in the urban areas (particularly, Harare) of Zimbabwe. He succeeded in bringing together, and motivating numerous individuals from the Zimbabwean community to move SKIA forward, at grass-roots level, as a Zimbabwean-based program to address the Street Kids issue in an all-encompassing manner. Specifically, a small university approach is planned, in which street children and young adults can benefit from basic education classes, arts/vocational workshops, counseling, athletics and maintenance (Half-Way House approach for the truly destitute); the children are re-integrated in the Public Education system, reunited with the family unit, and placed with corporations/organizations as trainees/assistants/interns to offer them co-operative opportunities. The program has created a greater awareness of the Street Kids issue, and raised local funds (US$35000.00 - Charity Casinos, Mayoral Fund, Rotaract Clubs, corporations, fundraising events, individuals and memberships) to purchase a facility to implement its small university approach, and hire a Zimbabwean Project Manager. Mr. Chambers attended the United States Peace Corps Africa region Small Business Development and Youth Development Conference in Gaborone, Botswana (September 19-23, 1994) in connection with this program. In this same Advisor/Counselor role, he also provided guidance and assistance to a number of individuals and organizations seeking help and practical guidance in urban youth programs as far away as Kenya (where he made presentations to PCVs), Botswana and Ghana.
Mr. Chambers also served as a Project Adviser for American students who traveled to Zimbabwe on Study-Abroad programs through Scripps-Pitzer/University of Zimbabwe and School for International Training (He advised seven students in various cross-cultural projects.). In addition, as a Documentary Photographer, he generated a series of photographs (portraits/landscapes of Africans and their lifestyles in a rural area of Zimbabwe, Southwest of Rusape: The Mucharambeyi Connection), and received a US Government grant (US$400.00) through the United States Information Service (USIS) to exhibit this series at the USIS Library in Harare, Zimbabwe (June, 1995). The U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe officially opened this exhibition.