For Resilience Building
By Yeukai Kaponda,Communications Intern
The Zambezi Valley Alliance (ZVA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Recreation organised a Youth Expo in Mbire on 7 November 2019 supported by the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF). The Expo which took place at Mahuwe Crop and Livestock Learning Centre (CLIC ), which is an initiative of the ZRBF programme in Mbire. ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) is the lead organisation in the ZVA Consortium implementing the ZRBF programme in Mbire, Kariba and Binga to enable communities to adopt, adapt and promote transformative change in the face of disasters droughts, livestock diseases among others.
The objective of the expo was to bring together youth, government ministries and finance organisations to discuss possible ways to increase youth and young women participation in the running income generating projects appropriate to area. The expo was attended by 300 youths from Mbire and other surrounding districts in Mashonaland Central.
The expo activities included the touring of various projects practised at Mahuwe CLIC and hand over of certificates to various youth that undertook courses offered at Chaminuka Vocational Training Centre in 2016-2018, as part of the ZRBF initiative programme.
Financial organisations such as Empower Bank, Agricultural Bank and Micro-Finance Services were invited to provide some information to the youth on how they can access loans for start-up grants for the income generating projects. Many youths have been failing to run income generating projects as a result of lack of funding.
“As youth of Mahuwe district we want to thank the organisers of this event as it has provided us with the knowledge we have been yearning for the past years. We now have the information for one to access a loan or grant “said Arnold Chaumba one of the youths who attended the expo.
The youth were challenged to submit their funding proposals to the financial institutions so that they can be considered for funding should they meet the requirements as per the training they received. Some of the potential project youths can consider and shown at the Mahuhwe CLIC are pen fattening, goat breeding and vegetable farming. Edmore Hungwe who is the Mbire District Manager for the ZVA emphasized on the need to need for youth to write their proposals.
‘’We are encouraging more youths to submit their proposals to the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation to review them since financial institutions that attended the Expo promised to support, “Edmore said.
A total of 49 youth graduated with vocational courses in the fields of cloth and textiles, metal fabrication and brick and block laying as part of the ZRBF youth empowerment and participation programme.
Martha Kagwere (24), one of the outstanding young women who graduated with a certificate in brick and block laying encouraged other young women to venture into such courses which are male dominated.
She said: “Today I am overwhelmed, and I want to thank the ZRBF for motivating us as young women to do challenging courses which are usually done by men. My participation in this course has brought a change in my life as I am making use of my skills that I acquired to earn and sustain a living. It is also encouraging other youths and other community members to change their perceptions that only men can do such kind of work,’’Martha Kagwere said.