Zimbabwean refugee brings story to campus

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2015

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University will host a political refugee who was national coordinator of both Zimbabwe’s AIDS education program and its program to bring primary education to rural schoolchildren in developing countries.

After political strife in Zimbabwe led to threats, harassment, intimidation and separation from his family, Clement A. Jumbe fled to Canada as a refugee. He will tell his story in “My Journey to Safety… and the Help that I Received from the Scholars at Risk Networks” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, in Carver Hall, Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium.

Jumbe has more than two decades of experience in education as a high school principal and district education officer in Zimbabwe. After starting a new career as national director for UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Education Program and the national coordinator of the Commonwealth Education Fund, Zimbabwe was expelled from the Commonwealth of Nations for human rights abuses. The government branded the education program as a threat to national interests, leading to a lack of security for Jumbe and his family. In Canada, he was supported by the Scholars at Risk Program at Massey College of the University of Toronto, which provided him with room and board, contacts, speaking engagements and opportunities to teach again.

This event is sponsored by the International Faculty Association and the office of the provost at BU.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.