Introduction & Background
The slow growth in the economy, rising unemployment, difficulties associated with the protection of basic social services in the face of a changing economic environment pose great development challenges for all Zimbabweans. However, the magnitude and implications of these problems are more severe for young people especially girls in the rural areas as they lack basic opportunities for their development. As they navigate the school-to-work transition, their control over their own destiny and their employment choices is limited.
During community consultations by the TG Silundika Cultural Community Centre the TGSCCC, one of the major issues that came up in the small community of Gala in Bulilima District was the issue of high unemployment and lack of disposable income amongst local youths and women. Inadequacy of the educational curriculum for current job markets in both the formal and informal sectors, limited access to information on youth and women development programmes, skills training courses, jobs, start-up funding for income generating activities and limited experience, lack of appropriate role models, and lack of youth and women centred development programmes were mentioned as the major problems. Women highlighted that due to their multiple roles in the community they find it difficult to provide for their households as they have limited opportunities to take part in income generating activities. Therefore, they consider themselves as not being considered in development programs in their communities.
It is against this background that the TGSCCC has decided to intervene by organizing a workshop to develop the capacity of the young women and single mothers in the technical skills of sewing, bead making, basketry, fashion design, dressmaking and basic marketing skills training. The ripple effect of this intervention will benefit not only the direct beneficiaries and their families but also their communities and the nation at large.
For the first workshop, the TGSCCC partnered with four highly skilled women delivered a day-long workshop, on December 28, 2019, training about 40 young women in the following skills: bead making, basket weaving, fashion designing and dressmaking. The registrants were divided into 4 groups of 10 (Basket weaving, Bead making, Fashion Designing, Basket Weaving and Dress making). All the four facilitators are successful professionals who were born and raised in the same area and would like to participate in this initiative as a way of giving back to the community that nurtured them.
The second and third phases of the training will focus on developing the marketing and entrepreneurial skills of the trainees. In addition to skills training, the TGSCCC is partnering with the community relations department of the local Lady Stanley Clinic to devote one hour of each workshop to health and hygiene matters. The need to raise awareness on the AIDS pandemic cannot be overstated.
I am therefore appealing for your help in raising the $1,985 needed to cover the costs of facilitating a successful program to train the 40 unemployed youth and single mothers who have already registered. Remember that your donation, however big or small has the potential of unlocking the potential of an entire village and empowering the women with the skills they need to earn a decent living.
In addition to creating jobs in the community, this project will also help address the income generation challenge issues in the community and the resultant negative impact they are having on the economy. The project will present income generating opportunities for the youth and women as their skills will be in high demand. The acquired skills will address two of the main barriers to the women and youth which are the shortage of information on the markets and the lack of expertise to produce quality products. Thank you.
By Felix F Silundika
Project Page on our website
Organizer and beneficiary