By Kenias Chivuzhe
THE economic empowerment drive being championed by the government and its partners is transforming communities, with Mutasa district benefiting from community apprenticeship programmes.
Beneficiaries of the empowerment programmes financed by a local non-governmental organisation spoke about how their lives have been transformed for the better.
“In 2019, I failed to go to school after my parents divorced. My mother became sick after she was diagnosed with HIV. I was now hopeless and thinking of drug abuse. It was during that difficult time that I got help to complete my secondary education before enrolling on a community apprenticeship. I obtained a builder’s license class two,” a beneficiary said.
“I am now into business due to empowerment initiatives. I joined Mukando in 2014. I started a fishery project and I now have five ponds. Am also into goat production and market gardening,” said another.
FACT Zimbabwe executive director, Getrude Shumba says partnerships with government institutions have propelled the empowerment programmes.
“We have been implementing a seven-year empowerment programme which is coming to an end this year. So, we have taken beneficiaries through an apprenticeship where we have engaged in vocational training and polytechnic colleges. Some are into carpentry, building, sewing and agriculture.
“We are going to give them starter packs as they are exhibited at the market fair. We are so excited to leave the communities empowered.”
Mutasa South legislator, Honourable Meshack Mugadza said, “We are glad other stakeholders that include NGOs have joined the drive to empower the local communities. Skills development and capacitation of our youths and women are critical in promoting sustainability. This has given a further impetus to the empowerment drive that has seen us empowering the locals to start various projects that include soap and detergent making, horticulture and bakery industries.”
Economic empowerment programmes are at the centre of the ZANU PF manifesto that has seen party wings and government departments implementing life-changing projects across the country.