22 members of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) supported Bethel Self Help Group have defined the true meaning of entrepreneurship through setting up lucrative climate-smart enterprises at their 1-hectare garden in Shurugwi district.
The hardworking members set up a horticultural garden, a fish pond with 1500 fish, and an apiary.
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.
The group members have defied the odds by shunning the old custom of relying on food handouts and have developed income-generating projects that have in turn improved their livelihoods.
Fig 2 shows the women working in their garden.
“The garden has changed our livelihoods for the better as we now earn sustainable incomes.
“Back then we relied on food handouts but we are now financially independent and can take care of our immediate household needs,” Jesca Rubaya (56), one of the group members said.
She added that the installation of the solar powered borehole with 2 x 5000litres water tanks has greatly aided in boosting garden productivity and members now earn profit as much as $60 each per month.
The 22-member group grows crops such as leafy vegetables, king onions, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beetroot, okra, sweet cabbage, beans, pumpkin, sweet potato and maize.
Through the organisation’s support under its business development strategy, the group produces quality crops which they sell to vendors in Shurugwi town and local villagers.
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.
They have also set up a fish pond with 1500 fish and they hope to start selling them after 6 months.
Bethel Self Help group represents one of the Self Help Groups (SHG)s that HiHiZim has helped to migrate from depending on donor aid to adopting sustainable income-generating projects.
Bethel garden is situated in Little Impali village in ward 18, Shurugwi District and was established in 2020 under the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Community Upliftment Project.
The group members successfully established their enterprises after completing the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe business modular trainings in 2019 and were trained on horticultural technical skills, food processing, branding and packaging, tree planting, compost making and water harvesting techniques.