Members of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) supported Bethel Self Help Group in Ward 8, Shurugwi District now earn decent incomes through their lucrative horticultural project.
This is after HiHZim, in partnership with Hand in Hand Sweden, supported the group with business coaching, technical skills trainings, a solar-powered borehole and fencing material.
Instead of relying on food handouts, group members have managed to develop an income-generating project that will go a long way in improving their livelihoods.
“The garden has come as an oasis of hope for us and the community at large.
“Life has changed for the better since its inception in 2019. Back then we could not afford to earn a reasonable living and to send our children to school,” Jesca Rubaya (56), one of the group members said.
She added that the installation of the solar-powered borehole under the auspices of the HiHZim Community Upliftment Project (CUP), has helped to boost garden productivity.
The 22-member group grows crops such as chomolia, king onions, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beetroot, okra, sweet cabbage and maize.
Through the organisation’s support the group has managed to produce quality crops which they sell to vendors in Shurugwi town and local villagers.
In order to ascertain mutual benefits of the proceeds, members subdivided their one (1) Hectare garden to allow each individual to manage 25 rows that measure 1m x 3m each. This has proven to be beneficial as each member can make up to USD$60 per month.
To increase their income base, the group is also into Internal Savings and Lendings (ISALs) where each member contributes USD$2 at a 10 percent interest rate.
Bethel Self Help group represents one of the 2,200 Self Help Groups (SHG)s that HiHiZim has helped migrate from depending on donor aid to adopting sustainable income-generating projects.