Over 350 young men and women have graduated from Quest courses in Zimbabwe and we remain in touch with the vast majority of our alumni. It is always great to hear of the positive, life-changing impact of the Quest experience, so here are some extracts from the many letters of thanks that we receive.
"Lately I’ve been thinking quite a lot about Quest and the impact the program has had on my life. The impact as a whole has been astonishing. I came back with the boldness to face my fears and my laziness, which led me to getting a scholarship for a once in a lifetime course of study! This would have never happened without Quest!
Here, I just wanted to take some time to thank you for everything. Thank you for every little thing I may have learned from you and big thanks for the opportunity to participate in general. It has been a great honor!" (Men's Core 2017)
"Physically and mentally I have never felt stronger. I arrived here fragile and often lacking the energy or willpower to do things I felt were out of my control or comfort zone. I feel confident in my abilities and I now know that I can do hard things, even if I fail in the beginning, even if it takes multiple tries and it feels like hell.
I will leave quest taking away amazing experiences, true hardships and strifes, friendships made, broken and rekindled. Best of all, I’m leaving with confidence and love within myself, something that I lacked for so long. I am also leaving with some of the strongest relationships I have ever made, I have met people that I never thought existed and I am truly grateful to know that they are now apart of my life". (Female Questor from Mixed Core 2021).
"It’s difficult to quite put into words so how much Quest has managed to help me to turn my life around and to help set my adult live on the right path. The skills I was also taught by you are skills that I not only use on a daily basis but will be skills that will shape the rest of my life". (Hugo, Mixed Core 2021)
"To conclude my experience at Quest, I now feel grown, standing on the pillars that I have built here at Quest. All these experiences and learnings, whether they are technical or soft skills, and even physical training, all of this has given me the confidence to start my next journey in the adult world. I came into Quest a teenager, looking for guidance for the coming events in my life, and I will leave Quest ready to tackle the next challenge in life. However, I know that Quest is only the starting point of my journey, my true Quest has only just begun". (Tarik - Men's 2022).
"I have learned so much from Quest. I am happy to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every part of my gap year, and after raising most of the money for Quest feel like I have earned it. I have made some amazing memories and mates from around the world, and more, I have been able to reflect and set the groundwork for me to improve as a person. Quest has provided me with a strong growth mindset and an urge to improve habits, pursue new skills and achievements, and have a different outlook on the world. To end I have a stoic quote from Marcus Aurelius".
“Don’t go on discussing what a good person should be. Just be one.” (Will - Men's 2022)
"I’ve had experiences which I never thought I’d ever be able to have, I’ve pushed my mind and body further than I ever have before, and I’ve received 31 brothers who I will know for the rest of my life". (Harry - Men's 2022)
"Throughout my seven months at Quest I have developed physically, matured psychologically, improved socially, and achieved things I never thought I would have the opportunity to do. With university starting in less than 4 weeks and another chapter of life beginning I am so excited for what is yet to come; at Quest I feel the lessons learned, provide an advantage over so many people my age. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity Quest Africa has provided and privileged to have met every single member of the Men’s Core 2022". (Nathan - Men's 2022)
"Quest has been more than just a gap year programme for me, it has been more than just a trip, more than an experience, Quest has been a definitive turning point- it became the most cherished five months of my life. With so many lessons learned and so many memories made, I discovered so much about myself and can be proud of what I’ve achieved here. From new found confidence, a stronger mindset and understanding of myself, Quest has become a marker of so much growth. Attempting to sum up my whole time at Quest and break down all of the things that warped me as a person and the experiences that helped me grow seems like a near impossible task- it would be like going into a never ending labyrinth. Although the following moments don’t cover everything, they highlight the main areas of difficulty and growth". (Elodie - Mixed 2022)
"If I had to sum up Quest in one word, it would be ‘perspective’. I have a new perspective of myself. I have a new perspective on every decision I make, why I make it and where my intentions and my attitude lie. My perspective on challenge has developed, my perspective on things I take for granted has shifted. But perhaps the most significant change I’ve experienced has been my perspective on the life I want to live - what I want to get out of my short time at Quest and my life beyond". (Toby - Mixed 2022)
"In conclusion, I have grown massively throughout my experience at quest, not only by improving my athleticism but more importantly by improving my ways of thinking, my introspection and by better understanding my own core values and the values that sculpt a better version of me. I realize that my journey of self-discipline has not ended but only just begun, I have learned to walk and now I must learn to run". (Dan - Mixed 2022)
"Before the Quest Programme, I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my one wild and precious life. Now, at the end of the most incredible five months of my life, I have a renewed sense of self-worth and direction, confidence in my capabilities, and have tangibly improved physically, socially, and psychologically. Quest has enabled me to achieve what I once thought was impossible, from placing myself in a group of strangers, to running my 21-kilometre Grand Challenge, to fully overcoming my eating disorder and mental challenges, and finding a love for myself. I am leaving this incredible place a person that has gone through the best kind of metamorphosis: from a generally lacklustre attitude and little direction to a lust for life and a desire to experience the beauty that the world has to offer through adventure and tender moments with the incredible people I have met here that I will remain friends with for life. I have learned the importance of hard work, and feel equipped with skills and values for my first year of university next year, a journey that initially made me nervous, but that I now feel ready to pursue. I feel a deep sense of sadness leaving my wonderful new friends, my incredible facilitators, and the beauty of Quiet Waters, but Quest has provided me with a “warrior foundation”, one that has prepared me for my further “quest” into life, and for that, I am eternally grateful and finally feel ready to start a new chapter". (Kirsten - Mixed 2022)
"We as parents of Nicholas, just want to thank you formally for the amazing experience and opportunity that you provided for him this year. We are forever grateful for all the skills, knowledge, discipline, self belief and encouragement you have passed on to him. Your incredible knowledge and experience, expertise, patience, guidance, faith and encouragement towards Nicholas have been highly valued and appreciated. We are feeling blessed to have been able to support Nicholas’ life journey with a part of your profound course in Zimbabwe. Thank you to each one of you that has contributed to the forming of Nicholas at Quest. He has not had a bad word about any of you, but praise and the highest respect. He’s been moulded into a great young man, who is very independent, skilfull and now being able to communicate better with his peers and adults around him. His CV from Quest has made applying for jobs and apprenticeships in the UK by far much easier. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the part you played in our son’s life". (Men's Core 2019)
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the time my son spent at Quest. Thank you for the skills and knowledge that you imparted and also for giving back to us a young man that makes a parent proud. I really appreciate the efforts and patience in grooming the boys and I am sure all the parents and families are astounded at the positive changes to their sons". (Core Classic 2018)
"I would just like to say thank you again for giving Tim this wonderful opportunity. We have noticed a HUGE difference in Tim and so have many of our friends and his friends. His confidence is the most noticeable change and he is no longer that shy boy who would not interact with others. He is so responsible now but most noticeably is being accountable for his actions. He has gone off to Stellenbosch and sorted everything out himself, not wanting any help whatsoever while all his friends have their mothers running around sorting everything out for them. We have received many compliments about Tim and his growth into adulthood so far. Thank you for giving him this grounding". (Men's Core 2018)
"I want to say a massive thank you for the 7 months that you gave to Callum. We stumbled across Quest by accident as we were desperately trying to find something for him to do during his gap year. Little were we to know that he would get a genuinely life-transforming experience. I am personally delighted with the way he is now looking at life. This would not have happened without the mentoring provided by you and the range of challenging experiences provided but more importantly the expectations you put on him. We are very proud of his achievements, clearly the fitness award but especially the leadership one. It will hold him in good stead for his whole life". (Men's Core 2020)
"Simon arrived at Quest a bit overweight, and also immature with a tendency to do only as much as was needed to stay out of trouble. Simon needed Quest. He told me that at the beginning of Quest, he would run along pretty slowly, hoping that somebody would drop out, meaning that he could then take a breather – he was a tail-ender. But you managed to get him to the point when he realized that he could compete, and you ignited his competitive spirit! Getting fit is a wonderful thing, and once achieved, is almost addictive. Without Quest, I fear that Si would never have been pushed into being fit, and his potential in life would have been severely limited as a result. We cannot thank you and your whole team enough for what you did for Si. The change has been remarkable; Si is the first to admit that he has no filter, and often says things that perhaps might have been better unsaid. But I am now confident that Si will be in a position after Quest to get the most out of his three years at university – he may get into the odd skirmish, but he will now cope, and I think has every chance of thriving. Thank You!" (Men's Core 2020)