Pasichigare Garden Handover Ceremony

Last week Tuesday, Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim) officially handed over a two (2) Hectare garden to Pasichigare Self Help group in Ward 7 Chikomba district, as part of the organisation’s desire to equip communities with sustainable enterprises that will in turn improve livelihoods.

This comes after Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has been actively involved in revamping the garden for the 10-member group under the auspices of its Community Upliftment Project (CUP).

Present at the handover ceremony were various stakeholders from Government line ministries and the local leadership, who commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for its interventions in the district.

Members of the group could not hide their joy citing that the much-needed help they received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe through business trainings, the installation of a solar-powered borehole and the erection of a fence, had greatly aided them.

The group members, who previously struggled to earn a decent living in the semi-arid region said their lives changed for the better after getting support from the organisation.

Although the group was originally formed in 2014, their venture only began to bear fruit in 2017 when the members came into contact with HiHZim.

The organisation swiftly erected a fence and installed a solar water pump for the group when the members had completed their trainings.  Within a short space of time, the group increased production as they were no longer reliant on wells and natural rainfall, which has become erratic in the country over the last two years.

“We are grateful for the assistance we received from HiHZim. The organisation has helped us turn a dry patch of land into a viable horticultural enterprise.

“Before we had a solar pump, our production was very low because we had to use drums to ferry water to irrigate the plants from the community well,” said Veronica Mukonza, the group’s chairperson in an interview.

“We used to get as little as USD$10 per month from our produce but to date, we get up to USD$70 per month,” she said.

The group’s blossoming garden has a variety of horticultural crops such as potatoes, beans, chomolia, cucumber, onion, okra, butternut, cabbage, maize and tomatoes among others.

Veronica said on a good month the group receives a profit of USD80 from selling their crops and although they share the returns in December, part of the income is reinvested back into the business.

“Before we met Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, life was hard but now things have changed, instead of incurring costs of trying to sustain the garden, we are now making profits and our livelihoods have improved.

“The organisation has also helped us with market linkages and our crops are on high demand from local villagers, local stores and business centres,” she said.

Apart from helping members of Pasichigare garden, the installation of the solar-powered borehole has also aided the community and a local school as they can now easily access the precious liquid.

Climate Smart interventions, A ray of hope for Progressive garden

The great strides made by Progressive garden members in Ward 14 Gwanda District, bear testimony to the fact that indeed Hand in Hand Zimbabwe is transforming livelihoods through Climate smart interventions.

The 43-member group which is being supported by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under the Green Enterprise Project (GEP) has established a flourishing garden and a tree nursery since its inception in 2018.

Prior to intervention, members say they were living in abject poverty for years as a result of poor harvests induced by drought in the district, but upon meeting Hand in Hand Zimbabwe their fortunes quickly changed.

After members had completed their trainings, on business management, horticulture management, natural resources management and tomato production, the organisation swiftly erected a fence and installed a solar water pump for the group.

Within a short space of time, the group increased production as they were no longer reliant on wells and natural rainfall, which is erratic in the region.

To date, group members boast of having planted and sold an array of crops such as butternut, tomatoes, sugar beans, chomolia and onion. The group has also planted 63 types of fruit trees that include mango, banana, orange, guava, lemon, grape and pawpaw which are a refreshing sight in the garden.

To complement the crops, members of the garden also planted Vetiver grass as the plant helps to stabilise soil, protect soil against pests and has favourable qualities for goat and cattle feed.

From the crops and fruit tree seedlings they have sold so far, group members have received an income of ZAR4,300 and have channelled some of the money towards starting a poultry and goat project.

Apart from selling their produce to community vendors and restaurants, schools and a nearby hospital, the group sets aside a small percentage of their produce for family consumption and this has aided in providing basic nutrition for their families.

One of the group members Getrude Ndlovu (45) said the garden project has greatly transformed their livelihoods.

“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has empowered us with knowledge on how to run a good business and provided for us with technical support.

“Through the garden project, I now have financial freedom and can take care of myself and my four (4) grandchildren.

“We used to live on food hand-outs but we now have a sustainable source of income,” she said.

Green Enterprises Project is one of the economically and environmentally viable projects that has been adopted by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe as a pilot venture in Gwanda district. The project was incepted in September 2018 and is expected to run until August 2021. The project seeks to achieve improved sustainable economic activities and strengthen resilience to climate change for the resource-constrained communities – particularly women and young people

Vision beyond eyesight

Whoever came with the old adage disability does not mean inability must have had Tiritose Self-Help Group in mind.

Located in the heart of Chikomba District, Tiritose consists of nine visually impaired individuals, four males and five females, who have refused to be bogged down by lack of eye-sight. In 2019 the group started $10 savings per person every week and used this to boost their individual enterprises and help those without business ideas to come up with one.

Through their consistent savings and hard work, the group ended up having an established market stall where they sell household commodities.

In the same year group members also decided to enhance their enterprise knowledge by forging alliances with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. The SHG underwent the HIH Zim’s Enterprise Development Modular trainings, which benefited them immensely as they realised growth in their business.

After a few months of savings, on the 8th of December, 2019 the group shared their savings for the year which had accumulated to ZWL$15000. This was after deducting expenses of coordinating an event which was graced by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

Having realised huge returns in 2019 the SHG began 2020 with the goal of reinvesting into their business which has resulted in Tiritose moving away from traditional way of savings to ISAL’s – a more modern and effective way of saving.

At the moment the SHG sets aside $100 each week, which is then reinvested into stock for their market. To tackle Zimbabwe’s currency crisis, the group converts their savings into South African Rands, which does not quickly depreciate like the local currency.

Such quick thinking strategy, at a time the Zimbabwean dollar is fast losing its value against major currencies, has helped the group to remain in business despite the current economic environment crisis.

The group’s immediate focus is not only to increase their stock and stay ahead of the worsening economic situation, but also to enhance members’ standards of living.

The SHG says its highly indebted to HiH Zim, for the valuable trainings and lessons.

Mr Tengede, a member of Tiritose, said he used mental and physical skills he got from HiH Zim to survive a difficult period in his life.

“My house and property were destroyed by heavy rains, which left me and my family vulnerable but from the group’s proceeds, I was able to construct a more permanent and strong structure,” he said.

“Vision is not only for the ones with sight, but for anyone who dares to dream,” Mr Tengende said.

Tiritose SHG is very grateful to HIH Zimbabwe for the organisation’s continuous moral and technical support.

“We hope to continue helping the disabled in our community and improve their lives through entrepreneurship activities. All things being equal, we would like to recruit more people so that our group can grow and impact society with much more sustained livelihoods,” Mr Tengende added.

Pasichigare group changes the face of Chikomba District

Pasichigare group members in Chikomba District has achieved the impossible, transforming a dry two-hectare piece of land into a flourishing garden, thanks to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiH Zim) interventions.

The 10 members, who previously struggled to earn a decent living in the semi-arid region said their lives changed for the better after getting business training and technical support from HiH Zim.

Although the group was originally formed in 2014, their venture only began to bear fruit in 2017 when the members came into contact with HiH Zim.

The organisation swiftly erected a fence and installed a solar water pump for the group after members completed their trainings.  Within a short space of time, the group increased production as they were no longer reliant on wells and natural rainfall, which has become erratic in the country over the last two years.

“Before we had a solar pump, our production was very low because we had to use drums to ferry water to irrigate the plants from the community well,” said Veronica Mukonza, the group’s chairperson in an interview.

We used to get as little as $80 per month from our produce but to date we get up to $640 per month,” she said.

The group’s blossoming garden has a variety of horticultural crops such as potatoes, beans, chomolia, cucumber, onion, okra, butternut and tomatoes among others.

Veronica said on a good month the group can sell up to 50 bundles of chomolia per week at $2 each and 9 buckets of onions at $60 each per month.

“Our crops are in high demand from local villagers as well as other people from surrounding areas. Some supermarkets in the district have also expressed interest in buying our produce,” she added.

“We are really grateful for the help we received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe and would like to continue working with the organisation until our operations are self-sustaining. Before we met Hand in Hand life was hard; but now things have changed, instead of incurring costs of trying to sustain the garden, we are now making profits.”

Veronica said the group members are currently reinvesting their income into the business, and are hoping to share bigger profits in the coming months.

Segina’s work-suits business bears fruits

Segina Mutabeni from Ward 5 in Shurugwi has always enjoyed working with her hands. However, she never enjoyed fruits of her hard work, until she received business trainings from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.

The mother of three said when she joined a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe supported Self-Help Group (SHG) in 2018 she was just an ordinary tailor who struggled to make a decent living. But after undergoing the unique business trainings from the organization, she applied the knowledge in improving and diversifying her tailoring products. 

“The trainings on Opportunity Identification made me realize that no one else in my ward had diverse tailored products that include work-suits, despite a high demand for such products due to a number of mining and related activities in the town,” the 52-year-old woman said.

Segina said in a good month she can get orders with an average value of ZWL3000.00.

From her income, Segina is now coping with livelihood shocks emanating from the economic challenges in the country hence is able to pay fees for her two children who are still in school, buy supplementary foodstuff and other household expenses. In addition to earning a decent livelihood, she also built a modest house for her family and is planning to erect a fence around the house.

“My life has tremendously changed in the past year, and my husband now encourages me to attend Hand in Hand training sessions. My hope now is to supply work suits to other local and international markets,” she added.

Female student ventures into male-dominated barbershop business

The barbershop is traditionally a male space but 16-year-old Moreblessing Muguni from Gato Secondary School in Shurugwi is changing all that.

The form three student never dreamt of becoming a budding entrepreneur, let alone a hairstylist until she joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe’s Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Star Club at her school last year.

Since then, Moreblessing and other 35-Star Club members have been running a successful barbershop enterprise after undergoing trainings on Motivation, Health and Entrepreneurship under the MEY project.

The jovial young girl, who stays with her 78-year-old grandmother, says after undergoing the trainings, she quickly learnt the art of cutting hair with electric scissors and has never looked back.

“We were fortunate enough in that our school authorities allowed us to conduct business during lunch hour and on special occasions such as sports day,” she said.

The Star Club members charge $2 for a single haircut and earn up to $200 per month. The team uses the money to sponsor important school activities and sometimes assist Form 4 students with no money to register for their final examinations.

“The trainings I have learnt from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe have set a good foundation for me in my life, even when I leave school and fail to find employment, I will not live in poverty,” said Moreblessing, who wants to be a police detective when she is done with her studies.

“I have acquired the requisite skills to run a business, I’m now confident and also health-conscious,” she added.

The MEY project contributes to sustainable development in the country through improving health awareness, motivating the youth to believe in themselves and providing entrepreneurial skills among students (13-18 years) and young adults (18-35 years) who are out of school.

Lindiwe Ndlovu Commends HiHZim support

Lindiwe Ndlovu, 59, from Ward 1 Bulilima District is full of praise and admiration for Hand in Hand Zimbabwe’s technical and moral support.
 
Before she came into contact with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in May this year, Ndlovu and her fellow Sivukile Self Help Group members did not reap benefits from their innovative Marula jam-making venture.
 
“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe trained us on effective ways to run a successful business,” she said.
 
“Before we were equipped with marketing strategies such as branding and packaging, we would just pick-up disposed containers and place Marula Jam inside without even labelling the containers, but now I can testify that our sales have greatly improved through the use of unique branding and packaging,” she added.
 
According to Ndlovu, all ten group members now earn as much as $300 per month from the Marula Jam sales. The neatly packed 500ml bottle costs $10.
 
“I’m enjoying financial freedom as I can now pay school fees from my youngest child and provide for my family without external support. I have four children who are out of the country but I don’t bother them anymore to send us money because I can now afford to cater for my family,” she said

Chipo’s road to financial Independence

Chipo Taruvinga is a young, vibrant and upcoming horticulturist working towards becoming the best vegetable supplier in Chirumanzu District and Gweru. The 34-year-old woman could not afford to sit back and watch her family fall into the clutches of hunger due to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. In her bid to fight poverty, Chipo unleashed the untapped potential in her, as she soon began to use her natural talents to realise her dream of becoming the best supplier of fresh vegetables to big lucrative markets in the Midlands province.

The married mother of two (2) from Nyamakwe Village in Ward 20 Mavise, first came into contact with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiHZim), around July 2018, when she was already venturing into horticulture.

As it turned out, Chipo was fortunate enough to join Bright Mind Star Club, where she was introduced to the HiHZim health, motivation and entrepreneurship trainings. The three-pronged component trainings helped build her self-esteem, confidence and gain awareness on the importance of having good health. Chipo is grateful for the entrepreneurial training she acquired because the trainings stirred an unquenchable desire in her, which led her to live her dream – becoming the best supplier of vegetables to recognised markets and make a name for herself.

Chipo has also acquired a few technical skills, which include tomato jam making, nutrition porridge, vegetable drying, and liquid soap making. The emerging horticulturist is now adding value to her products. At the moment she is supplying both fresh vegetables as well as dried vegetables to her customers.

Chipo’s Bright Mind Star Club is made up of 10 female members, with each member expected to contribute monthly savings of RTGS$10.

“I am very happy to be part of this group, not only because it has become my second family where I get support, motivation and encouragement to achieve my goals, but I also borrow money from the club to buy pesticides to protect my plants,” she said.

The star club itself is doing very well as group members are involved in value edition, thus making nutrition porridge and vegetable drying.

Chipo also got the opportunity to attend a look-and-learn tour that was conducted at Zezai consolidated garden in Ward 11.  After the visit, Chipo was motivated and encouraged and she went back and reorganised her vegetable garden replicating all the methods she had witnessed at Zezai Consolidated gardens.

As an entrepreneur trained on identifying opportunities and resources, Chipo moved her vegetable garden close to a river, which gives her easy access to water supply for her variety of vegetables, which include covo, rape as well as tomatoes and onions.

With her newly acquired skills, Chipo’s garden is flourishing, and recently it was used for a look and learn visit in Ward 20’ as a way of encouraging other entrepreneurs to increase production.

“My garden is a living testimony that it is possible to earn a living from farming and that you can achieve anything in life only if you put your mind to it,” she said.

Through the strength of network, Chipo was able to secure a selling place at a nearby market, with the assistance of a local teacher.

Currently, she is selling her vegetables at RTGS $2 a bundle and tomatoes at RTGS$30 per bucket. In a month she gets RTGS $160 for her vegetables and she also sells at least four (4) buckets of tomatoes and get RTGS $120. These calculations have been consistent for the past three months.

But with Zimbabwe’s annual inflation skyrocketing and prices of goods and services rising on a weekly basis. Chipo was advised to keep up to date with change of prices in products so that she does not make a loss.

“My plan now is to supply large retail shops such as Pick n Pay with my products. I am grateful for the support I am getting from Hand in Hand and my star club, and God willing I will not rest until my dream has come to life,” she said.

 

HiHZim, a ray of hope for Hlanganani SHG

Prior to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe intervention, members of Hlanganani SHG were just a support group for People Living with HIV (PLWH). Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has helped the group members hone their business acumen. As a result of entrepreneurship training the group has managed to buy eleven cattle and nine goats”

Hlanganani SHG was formed in 2017 and is comprised of 9 women and 2 men. The group hails from Ngombane village in Sobendle Ward, Lupane District. The group which lacked business expertise was encouraged to join Hand in Hand Zimbabwe after noting progressive results from the already recruited groups.

After joining HIH Zim, the SHG then received modular trainings and then started saving $2 per month through ISALs which only lasted for 2 months before scaling up to saving $6. Within a period of a year the group members scaled-up their contributions from $6 to $10 and eventually $15 per month.

Hlanganani considered their health status and decided they needed to invest in capital assets, to guarantee inheritance for their children. The group concluded they needed to buy cattle for each member as cattle have potential to multiply. Each member was supposed to fundraise half of the asking price for their beast with the group providing the balance.

Within a year and a half (mid 2017 to end of 2018) the group had brought a beast for every group member. The same venture was adopted in 2019 and so far they have bought nine goats. Group members have heart-moving testimonies from their association with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.

Sentiments captured from group members were “ISALS don’t work effectively and efficiently if money is not converted into assets, …… assets in the form of livestock is the possible best way to go in rural setup, our goats have already started reproducing and in no time our pens will be too small”.

The major stumbling block for this group was social segregation emanating from the group members’ health status. With social support and business trainings from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, the group surpassed community expectations. The group treasurs HiHZim for linking them with Agritex and Veterinary services as they have greatly supported Hlanganani by providing livestock technical knowledge.

The group is still daring; they intend to procure the best-of-breed-bull to improve their breed.  They also plan to venture into chicken production because of quick returns associated with the business. The group also want to grow and process their own livestock feed to supplement their livestock as recurring droughts have negatively eroded the livestock pasture.

Tafadzwa and Sifiso’s Story

A young Couple has managed to open a lucrative grocery store in Ward 9, Shurugwi District with the Help of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.

Tafadzwa Matavire (34)  and Sifiso Machacha (28) are both members of Prosper star club in ward 10. The two joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under its Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY)Project in February 2018. The couple has two children that are of school going age.

The two have both received training on entrepreneurship, motivation, and health offered by the Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY)Project.

The modular training on opportunity identification and enterprise planning was very useful for  Tafadzwa and Sifiso as they were able to start the grocery store. where they sell basic commodities

Athough they already had an enterprise of selling airtime and cooking oil at their homestead, the couple was struggling to put food on their table and send their children to school.

From their sales, the couple gets an average net profit of between RGTS$150 –RTGS$250 per week.

In an interview, Tafadzwa says Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has immensely helped them in their business venture.

“We are proud of the fact that we are now able to pay school fees for our school going children and we now have hope for the future

“We plan to open a big grocery store by 2020 so that we are able to take our children to a better school for secondary education,” Tafadzwa said.

Rindai striving in her business

Rindai Chinyakata, is a widow aged 57. She stays at Mount Dor South resettlement which is 20 km away from the scenic Shurugwi. She has 6 children under her care. All her children are school going. 3 of them are at primary level, 1 secondary level and other 2 are infants.

She is the Chairperson of Fambiramberi Self Help Group which consists of 13 members.

Her journey to a better life has not been easy after the death of her husband. She lived a miserable life as she failed to send her children to school and could not afford to provide decent meals for them.

However, after going through the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe business training in 2018, Rindai says she realised that the death of a spouse is not the end of life.

“During the 2018/2019 farming season, I grew maize which I sold and made a profit of $256-00.

Since I have always dreamt of a piggery business, I then used this money to purchase  2 sows and a boar which cost $100.

Rindai is now leaving her dream as the pigs now have 6 more piglets.

When they mature she hopes to sell the piglets at $100 each

Rindai Chinyakata is a true example of how Hand in Hand Jobs Creation program empowers women, as she is now able to take care of herself and her family.

Apart from the piggery enterprise, Rindai also runs a chicken selling project which has greatly aided her in living a decent life.

Future Plans

Rindai is planning to build a proper structure to house her pigs. She also wants to supply butcheries and restaurants in Shurugwi with pork and chicken.

Chisungo Investments continues to flourish

After receiving the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Revolving Fund, Chisungo investments, a pot moulding group from Hillview village one (1) in Ward 22, Chirumanzu has burgeoned into a profitable and sustainable enterprise

Chisungo investments started as a family project in 2015, and the group which is made up of four members soon realised it could make more money after they joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe programmes in 2018 where they were promptly trained on entrepreneurship,

health and motivation. The group quickly married these three components within the MEY project with their already existing idealistic plan of expansion. This was done by equipping the young stars to come up with innovative ideas in enhancing, marketing and making sure they keep business records in an arranged orderly manner.

The group was fortunate enough that all four of its members had their loans approved in March 2019 and each member got an amount of 300. From the 1200 the members acquired raw material they needed to bring their collapsing business back to its feet. Some of the raw material they got include bentonite, patterns (the pattern they use to shape their pots), safer and charcoal.

After acquiring these raw materials, the groups business has tremendously expanded.

The breakdown of sales since they acquired the loan until they finished repayment

Month Items sold Expenses Sales Profits
March30 pots$380$725$325
April30 pots$380$725$325
May90 pots$895$2175$1280
June110 pots$2.024$5400$3376

 

The group’s market includes community members and people from neighbouring villages.

One of the challenges the group faced in the past was lack of capital to inject into the business and to procure raw materials needed in the moulding process.

“We tried several times to secure loans from other microfinances but each time our attempts hit brickwalls. What was even more frustrating was the fact that demand for our products was very high and we couldn’t meet demand due to lack of capital,” Talent Matandauro one of the family member said.

“We used to produce 50 pots per month, which was not enough to meet demand from our local market. But since the time the four of us applied for $300 loans each to invest into the business, the group is now working on producing over 100 pots per month to supply the market,” Matandauro added.

Matandauro said the family group is grateful for the Revolving Fund

“I am grateful for the help that we got from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe through the Revolving Fund. Before receiving the Revolving fund, we couldn’t afford to buy basic commodities but now we are living a decent life,” he said.

 

Nyengeterai Mambure’s journey to self sustainance

Nyengeterai Mambure’s journey to self sustainance began a few months ago when she attended a look-and-learn visit hosted by Hand In Zimbabwe in Chikomba in Apri this year.
 
The 27 year old woman from Ward 10 Shurugwi grasped the concept of making Mhandire (Maize Snack) during the visit and is now earning a living from preparing and selling the tasty and affordable snack to local shops and schools in the district.
 
Mambure is a member of the Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Young Stars.
 
The MEY project contributes to sustainable development in the country through improving health awareness, motivating the youth to believe in themselves and providing entrepreneurial skills among students (13-18 yrs) and young adults (18-35 years) who are out of school.
 
“After attending the look-and-learn tour I learnt how to make Mhandire and the business has proved to be profitable.
 
“I make $250 per month from selling Mhandire and this has helped me earn a decent living.
 
“I am now independent and can now afford to pay school fess for my child. I’m looking forward to buy a residential stand in the near future,” she said.
 
Mambure said she is now targeting to go commercial with the Maize Snack and supply it in bulk to various clients as this will help her generate more income.
 
Handinhand Zimbabwe believes that providing women and girls with equal access to business training and decent work will fuel sustainable economies.

Revolving Fund: A ray of Hope for Spencer Marufu

THE Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Revolving Fund has come as a ray of hope for 26-Year-Old-Spencer Marufu, a member of the Vimbanayi Self Help Group in Ward 10 Chirumanzu District. Since he received the fund in March 2019, the young business man has managed to impressively expand his buying and selling business.

The young business man joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in April 2018 after which he went through the business modular trainings and started his business.

Marufu who resales household groceries to his community members says before receiving the revolving fund, He could barely manage his business venture and it was bound to collapse.

“I could barely make any tangible profit from my monthly sales but to date I makes up to 600 per month.

“When I received the Revolving Fund I purchased green bar soap, cobra, termite poisons, maize, beans, finger millet, sugar and salt to my stock. I managed to sell all of these and I got more money to buy more stock,” Marufu said.

From the profit he made, the youthful businesssman managed to buy one cattle, seven chickens and a bicycle to assist with transportation of goods to his clients. He has also managed to buy a residential stand where he built a beautiful home.

“I benefited three fold from the money, my business has greatly expanded and through the many sells I made after received the fund I managed to repay the loan

Narrating his background, Spencer says his is a rags to riches trope as he grew up in a very poor family

“Growing up I never dreamt of ever escaping the poverty trap, but thanks to the Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth Project, I now have an established business, I now have property that’s in my name and I am assured I will be able to take care of my children in future.

“I failed to attend school and I struggles to read and write but Hand in Hand Zimbabwe through MEY has encouraged me given me hope that despite all odds one can achieve their dreams.

Spencer is also proud of the fact that his Self Help Group Vimbanayi is one of the groups that piloted the Revolving Fund (RF) in Chirumanzu district after undergoing health, life motivation and entrepreneurial trainings.

Each group member applied for the fund and received $600 which has gone a long way in the expansion of their individual enterprises.

Financial independence: Striving as a small business owner

Alice Mugodoki from Dangwa village in Ward 15 Chikomba District is a proud mother as she can now afford to take her eldest daughter to University from the financial independence she has gained through the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe business and Entrepreneurship trainings.

Her life changed when she joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe under Tashinga B Self Help Group in 2016 and went through entrepreneurship modular trainings.

Mrs Mugodoki then borrowed money to start her business from Tashinga B where 10 members of the group contribute $20 per month.

She started buying products such as soap, cooking oil, blankets and clothes from South Africa for resale in her community.

In an effort to expand her savings base she joined a second group Chika Chika where members contribute $20 per month.

Her business grew immensely and she could now afford to pay school fees for her children and cater for other monetary responsibilities in her home.

“My business has done so well, I now own a beautiful house and I no longer depend on my husband who is unemployed.

“One of the reasons which prompted me to venture into entrepreneurship was the hope of sending my daughter to university but I now do it effortlessly.

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in its entrepreneurship modular trainings has managed to empower Mrs Mugodoki in her entrepreneurial endeavours. Module 3 on opportunity identification and Enterprise planning has helped her plan for her enterprise well and now she has started going to Harare to acquire some of her products.

Module 2 on managing money helped her to manage her monies well as she now pays school fees for her children and food in the house.

Mrs Mugodoki, attests that the entrepreneurship trainings helped her in getting more income.

“I now earn approximately $500 as compared to around $200 per month which I used to get.

“My dreams and hopes are to ensure that my children get the best education so that they can have better lives,” she said.

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Gulliver’s success story

Meet 39-year-old Gulliver Sango a member of the Mukushinga Self Help Group in Ward 10 Shurugwi District.
Sango beat the odds when he joined Handinhand Zimbabwe in January this year. The father of two has managed to open two butcheries and a supermarket in the district through his poultry business.

 


Sango says after going through business training courtesy of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe; his poultry business greatly expanded. He now sells at-least 150 chickens valued at $25 each after every three weeks.

 


From his profit, he has also managed to buy a residential stand and has been empowered to take his children to decent schools.
“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has greatly changed my life, I never thought I would be a successful businessman but here I am. Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has equipped me with knowledge which I am now implementing in running my businesses,” he said.
Sango has also employed three people at his butcheries and supermarket and he hopes to employ more in the near future.

Sango’s successful story represents one of the 40 000 livelihoods improved by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.

 

Amazing Grace Star Club Flea Market Flourishing

Five young women in Chirumanzu have successfully set up an exceptional flea market at Chachacha  Growth Point in the district after receiving the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Revolving fund through the MEY Project. 

After completing all the 6 modules on entrepreneurship,  health and motivation in 2018, the Amazing Grace Star Club decided to start a collective flea market business, they started  an Internal savings and lending scheme contributing $10 per month. 

The young women buy clothing supplies, footwear, jewellery, and toys from neighboring South Africa and Zambia for resale at the flea market which they have demarcated into five different stalls in order to accommodate all of them 

Since its inception in 2017, their business was however operating at a low scale until they registered with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in 2018, got business training and received loans from the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Revolving Fund. 

Each member received a total loan of $600 which they used to boost stock and grow their business. 

The group Chairperson, 35 year old Lisa Chibura says the intervention of the organization through entrepreneurship training and the Revolving Fund has contributed immensely on the growth of the flea market. 

Through the income they get from their business, the young women, can now afford to pay their school fees as all of them are studying.  

Lisa who is current the chairperson and one of the founding members of the club says she is  grateful for the support that she received in training on entrepreneurship from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. 

“Members of the group are informed on how to run a business and this has improved the quality of our business venture.. 

We are also grateful for the Revolving Fund as it has immensely helped us, without the fund I have no doubt that we would have ceased operation,” she said. 

Lisa says she is now able to pay school fees for their three children, look after her parents and make a decent living through of the flea market business.  

“We have all employed one woman each at the  flea markets in a bid to empower other women. 

“We are grateful to Hand in Hand for the knowledge and loan facility that they have helped us with. Currently each group member is getting an average of $800.00 per month from sales,” she said. 

Blink Water Star Club, the fish farmers

The Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) Blink Water Star Club has successfully set up a Fish farming business in Chirumanzu which will see them selling over 500 fish per month and making profit of up to $2,500 once they link to the right markets. 

Aquaculture is gaining momentum in Zimbabwe as there is a huge demand for fish due to the high cost of other meat products. 

The group was formed last year after receiving training on Motivation, Health and Entrepreneurship and is made up of six (6) members which consist of two (2) males and four (4) females whose age range is 18-25 years. 

The star club started its Internal Savings and Lendings (ISAL)s in the month of December 2018 and they have been saving $5 since thenTo date the group has acquired $143 which they say will contribute to the further growth of their business. 

When the project was first implemented the group invested $781 worth of capital which they borrowed from the group’s chairperson.  

They bought 300 fish, pond construction materials and fish feed to kick-start their enterprise 

The group has different varieties of fish which include tilapia, catfish and sardines. Currently the fish sizes range from fingerling, juveniles and above palm size. 

The group believes they now have over 1000 fish from the time they started in December but have not started selling their stock as they are still trying to link to markets. 

The chairperson of the Group, Tasiso Munyemba said the star club members are grateful for the knowledge they have gained from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. 

Blink water star club greatly appreciates all the knowledge and support they have got since the beginning of their interaction with the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe team. 

Besides the group enterprise the group members also have their own individual enterprises supported by the organisation and this has helped each individual earn a decent living,” she said. 

She said part of the first sales which they project to be $2,500 will contribute towards paying her $781 which she borrowed the group to start the business.  

The start club plans on building more fish ponds on top of the three they already have and strive to be the best fish farmers in the Midlands province.  

We dream of opening a fish outlet along the Harare to Beit Bridge high way route where we are bound to get ample sales,” Munyemba said. 

Tasi said the only limit to the growth of their business is security as some of their fish were stolen in March. 

“We do not have any source of income to help fence our fish pond and this is a major security threat,” she said. 

Caroline’s Story

Before joining a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe instigated Self-Help Group (SHG) and opening a grocery store in her home area in Lupane, 55-year-old Caroline Nkala could barely afford to take care of and pay school fees for her seven children. 

 “Before joining Hand in Hand, I faced challenges in paying children’s school for my children,” she says.  

The married mother of seven says she can now afford to pay school fees worth $40 for each of her children which she does on her own since her husband is unemployed. 

Due to the economic instability, employment opportunities are scarce in most rural setups in Zimbabwe 

Caroline joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe in 2015 under the Garia SHG. The group is made up of 7 members (6 women and 1 man) who contribute $8 per month. 

In 2016 Caroline borrowed $500 from the group and managed to build a successful grocery store where she sells food items and detergents. 

She says she built the store after going through the Hand in Hand Opportunity Identification module.   

After going through the business entrepreneurship trainings from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, I realised that there was a gap for me in my community to open a profitable grocery store since no similar service was available. 

I make a significant profit of between $650 to $700 per month and I have since regained the money I used to build the shop,” she said. 

In all this, the now successful business woman, boasts of the knowledge she got from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe citing thatthe organisation taught her to be self-dependent as a womanto work hard and how to effectively manage a business.  

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has made me a visionary. Building a shop in a rural set up was not easy but I managed because I had acquired knowledge on how to do it from the organisation.  

Before she joined Hand in Hand she used to practice horticulture in a bid to fend for her family but according to her this was not easy as she had no skills. 

“Life was hard because I only managed to put a little food on the table and could not send my children to school. Selling vegetables could not sustain all my needs therefore, the intervention of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe was and is still of great help in my life”.  

She says apart from taking her children to school, she is currently building a big house at her homestead from the grocery store income. 

Caroline is planning to grow bigger in her business despite the economic challenges in the country and says she wants to expand her business to other areas in Lupane District. 

Subsistence farming, the way to go: Constance Museka’s story

 

Constance Museka, a widow and mother of nine is a member of Kuwadzana group in ward 6 of Chikomba District. Ward 6 is approximately 25km from Chivhu town and people in the area are mainly involved in subsistence farming, which is their way of life.

However, this farming season the region received below normal rainfall and this meant that people had to look elsewhere for survival.

Faced with such a daunting task, Mrs Museka had to turn to her entrepreneurial skills. The highly talented woman, who is skilled in pottery, knitting and making African traditional carpets (mhasa), did not have to look far for an income generation project.

Armed with new entrepreneurship skills and technical capacity she received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, Mrs Museka was soon on the road selling her wares.

Before she came into contact with HiH Zimbabwe life was very difficult for her as she struggled to meet most of her family needs such as paying school fees for her children, and securing food and a decent accommodation.

Despite being a hardworking and very industrious lady, the widow lacked the knowledge and skills that would enable her to discover entrepreneurial opportunities in her surroundings and develop more enterprises.

Through the entrepreneurial trainings Mrs Museka has now realized the importance of record keeping in business, which is now assisting her to budget her money and put some aside for the family upkeep.

Before the trainings, Mrs Museka used to rely on support from the church to send her children to school, but now she managed to take one of her sons to Daramombe High School – a boarding school. She really gives thanks to HiH Zimbabwe Module 2- money management, which opened her eyes to more business opportunities. “Upon realizing the presence of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe within our community, we formed our own SHG comprising of five ladies. We started contributing $20.00 to our ISAL savings with an interest rate of 20%. I give much credit to this scheme because I managed to expand and develop my enterprises through loans from our ISAL contribution. I am also thankful to the trainings on record keeping, all my business deals are documented and I am now able to trace progress of my business,” she said.

Mrs Museka now prides herself as a growing entrepreneur and is grateful to the Lord for blessing her with working hands.

When she looks back she wonders where she could have been were it not for the HiH Zimbabwe entrepreneurial trainings. She continues to thank the community for allowing HiH Zimbabwe to come and empower women in her ward to be business minded.

Dube not limited by age

Leonard Dube: Left

“A candle doesn’t lose its fire by lighting  up another.” True words of wisdom quoted from a  63 year old  Leonard Dube of  Sizimisele SHG in Ndwane Village in Jibajiba ward. He admits that he was naïve in terms of entrepreneurship  and business management  until HIH came through and lit up his business world. Dube States that before his contact with Hand in Hand he was just a mere farmer and a bad one for that matter as he had serious issues to do with general planning and budgeting and this  always affected his production markets and sales. Leonard also states that  before his contact with HIH he was very reckless  and didn’t know how to use the monies he got to his advantage as well as to grow them.

Dube However  boldly and proudly declared that ever since he joined Hand in Hand through the joining of  Sizimisele SHG he has seen significant changes in his life and the lives of those around him as this move has redeemed him from being the financial burden he had for long been to his children.  Amongst other things Dube has been able to buy a number of pigs and now owns and trades them as an enterprise. He has also been able to sell his excess  grain produce to GMB and make extra profits. Through the proceeds he gets from selling of his pigs and grain, Leonard says he has been able to build a house which is now at roofing level. ”Through our savings , we have a bank before we go to the bank he said”. Dube expressed his gratitude to the F.O  and E.D.F for the lessons he got and continues to get since the day he joined the Sizimisele SHG in April 2014, to him saving and lending schemes have always been an advantage and he has no regrets in being a part of this SHG and being a HIH J.C.P  beneficiary.

“I have also learnt to work hand in hand with other group members and l continue to enjoy shared responsibility with my  other  associates” he stated. Dube attests to the fact that the lessons he got from HIH have also  helped him live in harmony with other people in his community as he understands that they are all his potential clients. Dube, however also indicated that inasmuch as he has been in pig production for a while, he still needs to learn more about pig mass production and breeding so that he manages to improve his quality and quantities in production.  The interviewee in question also highlighted that in the future he hopes to raise his capacity supply from 15 pigs every six to seven months to the same number or even more per month. He also said that he wishes to be counted in the list of major pork suppliers  in all Lupane and even reach out to CSC Bulawayo and also supply Hwange and Victoria Falls as these places are his future target markets. Dube’s final words were words of advice and encouragement to  his  fellow community members  to join HIH SHGs as they are very beneficial in improving their lives and creating jobs , “little is much when Hand in Hand is in it, so they mustn’t be left out ” he said.

 

An emerging young entrepreneur: Tinashe Mugandani

Tinashe Mugandani is a 17-year-old young man who belongs to Kubatana Star Club in Chirumanzu, where he is one of the founding members. The club has eight members to date and has potential to grow. Tinashe had a difficult upbringing as he was reared by his mother following the death of his father at an early age.

The Mugandani family did not have it easy, as they struggled to get a decent meal and other basic necessities. Tinashe’s mother worked tirelessly to enable him to complete his secondary education at Chengwena Secondary School in 2017.

In an effort to assist his mother look after the family, he got himself employment at a local shop where he would sell commodities such as soap and cooking oil in the community. In 2017 Tinashe got introduced to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe by the Enterprise Development Facilitator (EDF). He became one of the earliest members of Kubatana Star Club. By then, the club members were only saving $2 per month and not every member could borrow from the savings since these were little. When he got trainings up to module 5 and having gained business experience from retailing, Tinashe asked his mother to lend him $30 as business capital in November 2017. He used the money to order 20 packets of jiggies and realised a profit of $10 within a week. By the end of 2017, which was just a two-month period, Tinashe had a net profit of $360. Off the profit, he gave himself a dividend of $140 that he used to help his family and the balance as capital for 2018. In 2018 February he managed to get a loan of $100 to scale up his business.

By mid-September 2018, Chengwena Secondary School offered him a contract to run a tuckshop after observing his business acumen and organisation. Since then, Tinashe is running his new enterprise effectively. He has exhibited business shrewdness from the trainings that he received from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. Tinashe has a fully stocked tuckshop (community grocery kiosk) and has diversified his businesses to include broilers.

Nkayi Self Help group on a mission to end poverty.

Sibonelo Self Help Group is on a mission to end poverty. The group, which consists of eight women and two men, quickly sprang into action after it was established on February 18, 2016 at Shushine Business Centre following a sensitization meeting conducted by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiH).

In an interview recently, the Group’s Chair Musa Mahlangu said members were motivated to kick out poverty after they received valuable lessons from the HiH meeting two years ago on how to fight scarcity using local resources. After the meeting, establishing the group was not a difficult assignment, as participants screened themselves based on their mutual understanding.

It suffices to say that before enrolling for the HiH Jobs Creation program in Nkayi and formation of this group, members conducted business individually and in a harp-hazard manner. Although the members were already in business – making baskets and buying and selling various goods – the ventures were not successful, as most of the revenue quickly went towards consumption.

But shortly after joining the HiH Job Creation program, the group got a new breath of life as they got entrepreneurial skills training which gave them the third eye of seeing things (opportunity identification). The group agrees that the HiH business trainings helped them to grow their businesses as they were encouraged to utilise the local natural resources efficiently in creating enterprises. With the abundance of fan palm (ilala) the group became more organised and agreed to meet every Thursday to train each other and improve their weaving skills.

After a few months of getting HiH marketing trainings, which encompass pricing, promotion, place and product, the group members not only improved quality of their craft wares, but also saw demand for their products increasing.

Mahlangu had an opportunity, which was made possible by HiH, to travel to Lupane for craft look and learn tour. Such an opportunity yielded positive results for the group as the member brought new knowledge and skills, especially on product quality and control, marketing and pricing.

Mahlangu says Sibonelo members are also grateful that they were afforded an eye-opening opportunity when they attended district hand work/craft workshops, where they shared notes, experiences, knowledge and skills with other SHG members from different locations.

He highlighted that all the members of the group now earn a decent living through crafts sales within the community and is very appreciative of HiH efforts in trying to search for a sustainable market for their wares.

“The members are satisfied  that their wares have been exhibited at district, provincial, national and international events such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Hlanganani Tourism Expo and Victoria Falls Agric Show among others,” he said.

He further pointed out that their craft work has also attracted visitors from outside their district although they are yet to get a reliable market.

“Within a few years of getting HiH assistance and improving their business acumen, group members are now in a better position to pay school fees for their children and meet other financial obligations,” Mahlangu added.

To date, Sibonelo Self Help Group boasts of a bull, pigs, which currently have 20 piglets, and and thirty chickens. And refusing to be limited to group enterprises, members also continue to pursue their individual enterprises that have achieved varied success.

“We will forever be indebted to HiH and its network, which showed us light and gave us hope and skills that are transforming our socio-economic lives at an alarming rate,” Mahlangu said on behalf of the group.

Joannes’s journey as a horticulture entrepreneur

Joannes Gwatipedza is an outstanding entrepreneur of Hama Maoko Star Club from Hillview Village One (1), who recently embarked on a lifelong journey of attaining his dreams.

The 34-year-old visionary and energetic man has a big vision of becoming a leading horticultural entrepreneur supplying big urban markets in Mvuma, Gweru and Harare.

Before he was introduced to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, Joannes was already operating a horticultural garden only as a way of earning a decent living, but had given up his dream of becoming a successful businessman.

“My world was collapsing around me. I had no motivation, no business acumen and skills, no capital to boost my business. This really affected the quality of my crops because I didn’t have enough knowledge in investing and running a successful enterprise,” he said.

Faced with a challenge of fending for his small family comprising his wife, daughter and aged mother, Joannes had thought of giving up on the business to pursue other options.

“I was at my wits end and did not know what else to do. I want to applaud Hand in Hand for coming to my rescue,” he said.

Joannes’ vision was resuscitated after attending a Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth Star Club graduation ceremony in his community project conducted by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe and MASO. He also had the privilege of visiting a successful MEY support Star Club enterprises for Kupfuma Ishungu, Budiriro and New Canaan.

He got the motivation to mobilize other young people into a Star Club and be like other youths that he saw graduating and had enterprises that were doing well with assistance from MEY.

“If I look back I have no regrets that I took this important decision of my life to be part of the MEY project. I thank God for this wonderful opportunity he afforded me,” he said with a contagious smile on his face.

The motivational, health business development trainings that he, and his group, received from the project gave him a new hope, motivation, requisite business knowledge and skills that have made him believe in his dream again.

The young man now produces quality sweet cabbages and leafy and fruit vegetables, which he sales locally within his community, other surrounding villages and even Lalapanzi mining community.

He sells an average of 70 bundles per month with each bundle costing $2. As way of further boosting his business which had water challenges, Joannes used part of his proceeds from the enterprise to dig a well to ensure constant water supplies for his thriving enterprise.

Joannes asserts that each training session he attends is a building block to the growth and expansion of his horticulture business.

“All my life I never knew how to develop a business plan and make budgets for my business. But now I can safely say I am equipped to take my business to another level, thanks to the trainings I received from the MEY project.

The entrepreneur is happy that he cut off unnecessary costs that he used to incur in his enterprise before being trained. Since June 2018 his business has traceable records that he keeps, something which he could not do in the past.

He now boasts of improved marketing skills, which he is using to produce high quality vegetables that are in high demand from clients.

“I now have the confidence to engage with different customers and stakeholders because my products speak for themselves,” he said.

To Joannes, better is not good enough and he inspires himself to scale new heights.

Bizani successfully establishes business with Hand in Hand aid

 

Bizani Moyo is a 43-year-old man who lives in Makwe village in Ward 20 Gwanda. The married father of four, 3 boys and a girl, joined Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HiH) in September 2016 under the auspices of Thokozani SHG – a group made up of 10 females and three males.

In January 2017, Mr Moyo was chosen to lead the group and has been instrumental in ensuring that members put aside $40 per month, which is then stored in a savings fund. Under the Internal Savings and Lending Scheme (ISAL), group members can loan each other money at an interest of 25%.

Before joining HIH, Mr Moyo earned a living as a sole trader. He had a small business stall outside Makwe business centre, where he sold a variety of goods, including food.  After being trained on Opportunity Identification and Enterprise Planning, Mr Moyo then realised that there were several business opportunities in his community.

Makwe area has numerous small and medium scale gold mines. He saw an opportunity to meet clothing and food demands for the ever-busy miners, who are not keen to venture out to the nearby town to buy clothes and food stuffs. He took it upon himself to travel to South Africa to purchase clothing items for resale to miners in his area.

Mr Moyo used profits from his buying and selling enterprise to religiously contribute towards group savings. In December 2017, Thokozani group decided to share their profits and savings.

The budding entrepreneur received USD$2 700 as his savings share plus ISAL profits, which he used to purchase a tractor with a trailer in February 2018. Using his newly acquired assets, Mr Moyo did not waste time as he immediately established a new transport service to cater for miners in his community. The transport business, where he carries gold ore from the mine pits to the stamp mill at a $40 per load, is flourishing.

On average, he carries three loads per day and makes an average of $2 000 per month form his transportation enterprise. In June 2018, Mr Moyo used part of his profits to purchase an electrical generator and a water pump. He hires out the water pump and generator to miners who wish to drain water out of their mines for $400 a month.

Ever since his new business venture as a mining service provider, Moyo and his family live happily. He pointed out that all his children are in school.  One is at primary school while three are in secondary school. All his children’s school fees are fully paid up and he even affords to pay for their children’s educational school trips. Furthermore, Mr Moyo has extended his home stead. During the time of visit, he had just completed building a stone wall around his homestead. It is clear that Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has positively changed the life of Moyo and his family.

Although business is going well for him, Mr Moyo said he is not spurred by various challenges affecting the country’s economy.

He noted that cash shortages that the country is facing are also affecting his operations as mobile money payments affect his ability to order spare parts for his assets in neighbouring South Africa as they are not readily available locally.

Recent fuel shortages and the ban of fuel containers by some fuel stations has greatly affected his business as he needs to carry diesel and petrol for his tractor and generator in fuel containers. As a result, he at times goes for days without working because of fuel shortages and he is now forced to purchase fuel in South Africa though that increases his expenses.

Moyo pointed out that he plans to purchase a mine compressor so that he can also hire it out to miners.

He is also planning to diversify into cattle pen fattening as a way of increasing revenue streams, spreading risks and hedge himself against inflation, cash and fuel shortages.  Moyo is really grateful to Hand in Hand for the trainings and support as he points out that they opened his eyes to unlimited possibilities.

The “Struggle” of a rural woman

Pretty Vundla, 27, is a typical young rural woman who was left behind by her husband who went out of the country in search for greener pastures.

The mother of three, who lives in ward 13, Homera village which is about 68km from Shurugwi urban, has struggled to raise her children since 2016 when her husband left for Namibia to look for a job because of the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.

“When my husband left for Namibia in 2016, I was so distraught because I did not know where to start since he has been always a bread winner and always fending for the family. All the comfort I had in him being around was gone, the first six months was a real struggle because he did not send any money back home since he was also struggling and wanting to get on his feet,” she said.

Left all alone to fend for the children, Pretty tried to think of a business idea, but since she had no formal business training her mind could not come up with something concrete.

“I tried getting into groups since the majority of the young women in the community were also doing such, but the groups that we formed were mainly doing savings so that we could buy each household property such as plates, kitchen units amongst others, which had no bearing on how I was supposed to get an income,” she said.

“In November 2017, I saw the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Team through their EDF Ms Revai Masamha at Musavezi Primary School, which is our community gathering point, explaining to my fellow village members about their new project,” she added.

The new project – Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) – mostly focus on improving people’s lives to become leading stars in their different communities around Zimbabwe, a fact that quickly resonated with Pretty’s dreams.

“That simple reason of Hand in Hand mentioning about leading stars and installation of hope captivated me to listen and join other young people. We were told that the project included training young people about health, life motivation and basic knowledge on how we can start our businesses. I was in dire need of such life skills,” she said with an affectionate smile.

“Soon after, we learnt about the self-help group issues and I was so impressed with the “mukando”, Internal Savings and Lending Scheme (ISALs) method of saving. Initially, we were conducting communal savings – whereby we bought each other pots and plates, but with no idea of saving to start a business.

“This new concept by HIH encouraged me the most as I had an ambition to start my own business to help me earn money for use at home as my husband was out of the country. I was eager to learn how to manage my money and later I encouraged my old group members to join the project. Currently, we have six (6) females members in our group which is called Good Hope,” Pretty added.

The HIH MEY programme has various training components on entrepreneurship, ways to manage personal money, opportunity identification and enterprise planning. The programme also encourages participants to market their products and keep records of the enterprise.

With the knowledge that she received, especially on opportunity identification and enterprise planning, Pretty was able to identify that people in her community were in great need of a grinding mill and quickly exploited the opportunity to her advantage.

“Through savings as well as money I received from my husband, I purchased a grinding mill and immediately got into business, which is now giving me and my family more income. I also learnt that as a business person I should constantly be on the lookout for more business opportunities, hence I ventured into chicken business.

“I currently sell chicken pieces since I realised that everyone wants to eat good food, but there are not butcheries in my village that supplies small chicken portions for those who don’t have enough money to buy the whole bird,” she said.

Not satisfied with her two business ventures, Pretty has also diversified her portfolio to include toiletries, clothes, fish, freezits and sweets among other things.

“Growing up I also had a passion and dream to be a horticultural farmer, I thank God that I am now close to realising my dream since I managed to drill a borehole and also bought a Jojo tank which now awaits to be mounted.

“Apart from the few economic such as shortages in fuel which is affecting my grinding mill business, I want to thank Hand in Hand for the program that they brought to us, I realised that I was always crying and wasting opportunities in my community. The HIH team and trainings opened my eyes and I can now dream even bigger.

“I also want to thank my husband because he is very supportive of what I do. He has invested heavily in the business that I am doing and I can safely say that he is my business partner,” she added.

The rise of Witness Mutsvunguma

WITNESS Mutsvunguma never dreamt that he will one day run a successful business empire. The 29-year-old young man thought that, like his parents, he will live and die a pauper. But that was his thoughts until he was introduced to Hand in Hand Zimbabwe’s Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) programme and his life improved significantly for the better.

Witness grew up in a poverty-infested environment in Rambanapasi village in Chengwena Ward 4, Chirumanzi. Although he grew up with his both parents, the family lived in dilapidated buildings and rarely had enough food on their table as his parents are not formally employed and have no means of a constant income.

Things got worse for the Mutsvunguma family when Witness got married in 2017 and added an extra mouth to be fed in the homestead. But as luck would have it,  Hand in Hand Zimbabwe launched its Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth programme in Chirumanzi in 2017 and taught people that Entrepreneurship accompanied by health and life motivation is a viable means of earning income, acquiring assets and promoting self-development. Faced with rising poverty and no hope for the future, Witness did not take time to be convinced.

He quickly fell in love with the MEY programme where he learnt during mobilisation that entrepreneurship is an act of initiating, creating, building and expanding an enterprise and gathering resources to exploit an opportunity in the market place for long-term gain.

In view of this, Witness concluded that rural entrepreneurship can be pursued as an option to improve his life. In pursuit of this life-changing concept, the father of one attended HIH’s entrepreneurship training and completed five modules. He also attended motivation workshops 1 to 4 as well as health workshops to satisfy his hunger for more knowledge.

“When I attended the trainings on MEY project, my mind changed for the better. I used to be wasting money and with no hope for the future. Now I am good at saving, planning and conducting business,” he said in an interview.

“I can now keep my records and be able to track down my business history and tell whether the business is making a profit or loss. The trainings helped me to redefine my life when I had already lost hope and I am happy to say that my life is now on track. I am living a healthy lifestyle after my wife and I went for HIV testing and we know our status,” he said.

A few weeks after attending the trainings, Witness and five other villagers sat down and established Kubatana (Unity) star club and promptly made a decision to save at least $5 per month.

In February 2018, Witness borrowed $100.00 from his group and bought four goats and $25 each. He worked very hard to service the loan and he is grateful of trainings he received as he is now running a small livestock enterprises.

In May, two of his goats gave birth to two kids (one each). In September he went back to the club and borrowed $80, which he used to buy two young female goats and two female turkeys. With his livestock business slowly growing, Witness thought of diversifying his portfolio and ventured into broilers and guinea fowls rearing. It was during this time that he also discovered that he was a talented builder.

He started the chicken business with 25 broilers, which he bought at $1.50 each, and also made sure that he had enough feedstock for the birds. To that end, he bought two 50 kilograms of starter crumbs, and growers. He bought these at $69.00 each. While his businesses is currently generating revenues of between $250 and $300 per month, Witness is already thinking of growth.

To date, Witness boasts of 10 goats (9 females and one male), 21 turkeys, 25 broilers, 23 free range chickens and 19 guinea fowls, which is a far greater achievement for someone who didn’t have anything in his life except his name.

Witness appreciates the work Hand in Hand in the country through its MEY project.

“It’s pretty amazing that since I started this project my family can now afford to have three decent meals a day, something that was unheard of before. What I liked most about the trainings I received from Hand In Hand is the idea of working together as a group to accomplish life objectives.

“I also want to thank my group Kubatana for working hard and helping me with ideas to improve my life,” he said.

Witness’ stock in the community is slowly rising after he recently bought two cows at $230 and $290 each. Cows in African tradition not only represent wealth, but are also a source of inspiration and good standing in society.

With his business making decent profits, Witness also renovated his two rooms, which now boast of nice floors, painting and other furniture.

“My family is now living in peace and it gives me joy to take care of my parents who sacrificed so much for me. I generally spend between $40 and $45 per month buying food for the family,” he said.

“We also can now afford to buy and wear good clothes. I grew up wearing torn clothes and I don’t want my children to live the same way. We have a budget of at least $200 every year for buying new clothes.

“I am also working hard to ensure that my children attend better schools, where they are more opportunities for them to do well in life, something which I didn’t have while growing up,” he added.

In line with Hand in Hand’s vision of poverty alleviation through job creation, Witness has created a job for Mr Mandikanganwa, who helps him with his building business. The assistant’s salary depends with available jobs, but on average takes home at least $50 per month.

“I would like to urge Hand in Hand to continue with this good work and empower thousands of people, who like me, had lost hope. If my life was changed dramatically, I am very confident that the MEY model can be implemented successfully across more for fragile communities in Zimbabwe,” Witness said.

HIH changes widow’s narrative 

Jeniffer Kabete is a 65-year old widow who stays at Donga Business Centre in ward 10, 26 km south-east of the scenic Shurugwi.

Like most people of her generation, Jenifer – who looks after six grandchildren, three of them are school going and three infants – has endured a difficult life in Zimbabwe and she has scars to show for it. Life is difficult in this part of the world to the extent that citizens are struggling to provide food. The situation gets worse among women-headed household.

The friendly granny, who is a member of the Batanai SHG which consist of 10 members, seven females and three males, says she was once trapped in chain of poverty working hard in trying to make things happen in the red zone area of Shurugwi. Shurugwi is in region 5 which is characterised with little and below normal rainfall and droughts are frequent in the area.

Mining is only profitable business in this dry area, but then it is capital intensive and also requires physical stamina, attributes which are all not on Jennifer’s side. For an ordinary tailor, who conducted her business at Chachacha growth point, Jennifer had lost all hope about the future.

However, her fortunes quickly changed in 2015 when Hand in Hand Zimbabwe made inroads into Shurugwi and Jennifer did not think twice about joining Batanai SHG, which by then had 10 female members.

Over the years, Hand in Hand has proved that it has a master key to unlock hidden treasures. After going through HiH’s 6 modular trainings on business enterprise development, Jennifer’s eyes were opened and her horizon widened.

Jennifer’s group contributes $50 per month and members pay a 20 percent interest when they borrow money from the fund. This money is only used to finance their individual’s business/ enterprise since the group does not have a group enterprise.

The group, through its policy and constitution, agreed to share the dividends after every six months that means per year they have two cycles.  On average every member walks with around $450-500 after sharing.

With trainings on Manage Money and Opportunity Identification Enterprise Planning, Jennifer got the skills to diversify her business and ventured into school uniforms making. After realizing some profits from her new business, she constructed her on shop at the busy growth point, which was completed in January 2019 and is now operational.

“Hand in Hand Zimbabwe helped me a lot to be who I am today. The trainings were not only fantastic but also an eye opener as they unlocked potential in me, potential which I never thought I had,” she said in an interview.

Jennifer further alluded that before joining Hand in Hand she “was unable to provide food for the children that I have, but now I am able to feed my grandchildren, as well as employing other women from the community. As we speak my business has created three more jobs, and this means the business is supporting three families.”

Jennifer’s is now a role model among other widows in her community as she can now afford to pay school fees for her three grandchildren – one in secondary school paying $55-00 per term and the other two at primary level paying $20 each per term, which was an uphill task prior to meeting Hand in Hand.

In addition to that, her shop is now well equipped with standard equipment such as four sewing machines including the overlocking and heavy duty machines.

Jennifer’s business has grown in leaps and bounds and is popular in Shurugwi that every new school term she rakes in an average of $200 from uniform sales and when business is low she earns around $30 per week.

During the course of the interview, Jennifer made it clear that she want to continue to be part of the Hand in Hand family as it made her to be a recognised woman in community after unlocking her hidden treasure.

“I also want to thank my colleagues at Batanai Self Help Group who keep on encouraging me to go an extra mile in my work. I believe that with the help of God my business is going to expand and help so many women in various communities. The almighty has been very gracious to me,” she said.

Mlinga’s Dream a Reality

 

Tafara Mlinga is a 32-year-old man from Ifafa Village 1 in Chirumhanzu, who has fought his way out of poverty through the Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) project and has done exceedingly well for himself and his family.

The father of three works with his wife on their small plot to produce enough food for the whole family. Over the past few months, Mr Malinga has used the skills and resources he received from the MEY project to help his family afford three (3) meals a day at a time when other people in the country are struggling to put food on the table. In addition to being self-sustainable, the Mlinga homestead supplements its income by selling maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in Mvuma.

 

Mr Mlinga is a member of a Star Club called kupfuma Ishungu, which is loosely translated to mean that wealth comes through hard-work and dedication. Members of the club contribute a monthly premium of $3 per individual towards a savings fund. When Mr Mlinga thought of converting his garden into a viable enterprise, he borrowed $50.50 from the Club to buy vegetables and tomato seedlings. With the help of his brother Tichakunda, he was able to expand his garden and made use of poles and branches as a hedge to prevent goats and cattle from breaking into his plot and destroy the crops. The garden is strategically located in a wet land area and Mr Mlinga does not incur huge expenses when watering his plants.  Mr Malinga begun his project in June this year and has since then been earning an average monthly income of $280 from his business. He indicated that he sells vegetable bundles from $0.50- $2.00, tomatoes from $0.50 to $7.00 a bucket to members of his community, who are his main market source.

 

The Voice of Tafara Mlinga

“I used to have a garden before, but only worked on it as a hobby and never thought I could make a sustainable living from it. After my brother Mr Tichakunda Mlinga introduced me to Hand in Hand (HiH) model my life and that of my family has greatly changed for the better and am grateful for this life-changing opportunity presented by HiH in partnership with MASO.

From the entrepreneurial training he has received, Mr Mlinga mainly appreciated module 3 on Opportunity Identification, which made him realise a hidden opportunity to run his garden as an enterprise. Most people in his community are neither into horticulture nor taking advantage of the wetlands where his garden is located.

“In June this year, when most people in the country were involving themselves in politics, I slowly converted my idea into a money-making venture by supplying a variety of vegetables, which are on demand and in short supply in my community.

“My main challenge at the moment is to meet the ever increasing demand for my horticultural products as some days am failing to satisfy my customers’ needs.

“I am living my dream, doing something that I am passionate about while at the same time earning a decent living,” he said.

Mr Mlinga indicated that he appreciates the motivation trainings he has received as they have helped to boost his confidence and self-esteem.

“I used to look down on myself and never once in my life did I ever thought that I would achieve anything meaningful. But after I went through the trainings, I came to realise that I am very valuable and have the capacity to go for my dreams. Since then, my life has never been the same.

“I am now looking forward – with confidence – to a better tomorrow not only for me but for my family as well,” he said.

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe changes widow’s fate

When Mrs Madhhuveko who lives in Dhlodhlo village in Shurugwi South tried many projects which did not work until she was linked up with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.hen 65 year old Lydia Madhuveko’s husband died, she  had to bear the burden of taking care of her family since he had been the sole breadwinner.

Through Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, she joined the Limukani Ward 5 Self Help Group an all women cluster with 13 women of different age groups engaging in different types of enterprises.

Meeting Hand in Hand Zimbabwe inspired Mrs Madhuveko to use her hands more in order to sustain her livelihood. Her first business was making clay pots which she sold in her community. Madhuveko says that she had abandoned making clay pots as she assumed that people did not like them but upon receiving training in enterprise marketing from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, her interests in pottery was renewed.

Though Mrs Madhuveko had started engaging in pottery her prime objective was to keep layers. After making clay pots for a while she managed to raise $100 which she used to buy 25 broilers.  Mrs Madhuveko says other members of her Self Help Group were her pillar of strength as they constantly met to discuss their project progress.  After successful broiler keeping Mrs Madhuveko decided to venture in keeping chicken layers and she managed to buy 30 with her enterprise savings.

Mrs Madhuveko says that the enterprise training she is receiving from Hand Zimbabwe is an eye opener and is helping in her business endeavours.

She was impressed by the commodity cluster training which was done in her ward and she hopes again to be one of the front runners in the indigenous poultry production to enhance her entrepreneurial base.

Currently she gets almost 28 eggs a day from her layers which she sells in her community and has also managed to attract buyers from other wards in Shurugwi, some who travel long distances just to buy her eggs.

Mrs Madhuveko continues to engage in keeping and selling broilers, layers and road runners as this has helped her fend for her family.

As her enterprises are growing Mrs Madhuveko is now looking forward to building another shelter to house her broilers as the one she was using is now getting old. Mrs Madhuveko says that her enterprises are going on very well although they have dipped a bit due to the economic challenges that the country has been experiencing. But generally she sees brighter days ahead in her enterprises.

Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has managed to inspire her to be an achiever in her enterprises. She is now a beacon of hope to other widows in her village as she inspires them that they can manage to have a life even after they lose their spouses. Mrs Madhuveko’s aspirations are to be able to get a stand in Shurugwi town so that she can be able to fully market her wares as she stays far away from the town.

She believes that with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, she will reach greater heights in fully realising her enterprise potential.

 

Setting Up Yourself For Success

FROM the time 23-year-old Lilian Mabikwa joined the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe, Motivated Entrepreneurship Youth project (MEY) she has managed to succeed in all her business endeavours.

Her exposure to the MEY project has indeed contributed in setting herself for success as she was one of the first members to access loans from the group fund to expand and diversify her income generating activities.

The loan has helped Lilian in expanding her buying and selling business.

Lillian was born on 02 May 1995 and grew up in Shurugwi district in ward 14 in Madiridza village where she spent most of her childhood. She did her primary education at Nhema primary school and attended secondary school at Svika high school in ward 14. She is married to Bright Fundira and has a 3-year-old daughter.

Through her engagement in the MEY Project, Lilian has managed to join the Mushamukadzi star club which comprises of six members who save money and disburse loans amongst each other.

In September this year, after saving at a rate of $5 per month each member walked away with a lump sum of $260.

Lillian is currently the club’s secretary and managed to go through all the three project training components on motivation, health and entrepreneurship.


Lillian displaying her certificate at a graduation in Ward 14

To her, the ISALs scheme has been a valued key in her business runnings as it is affording her and other group members readily available loans which they cannot access from banks and other financial institutions due to various reasons.

Lilian’s success story continues as she recently managed to apply for a passport so as to expand her business to cross border trading.

The youthful mother says she has worked with her husband and managed to buy two heifers and various household materials in a space of one year.

She says her mother in law has also been a source of inspiration in her entrepreneurship journey.

Lilian encourages aspiring business people in Shurugwi to join projects like MEY, be dedicated and work hard

Putting livelihood thinking into practice

To be successful, you have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. It is well articulated by the graduation and business expo which was held in Ward 8 on the 21st of April 2017. They were five graduating SHGs namely: Wadzanai, Mukai, Simukai, Kushinga and Shingai. SHGs participated in this event to showcase and sell their products. The main objectives of this event were:
To present certificates of participation to SHGs in OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFICATION AND PLANNING; MANAGE YOUR ENTERPRISE MARKETING; MANAGE YOUR ENTERPRISE FINANCE.

 

Mukai Group posing for a photo after receiving their certificates

 

Shingai group

To motivate entrepreneurs within SHGs on how to market and present their products to the local available market.

Testimonies from SHG members
SHGs members thanked Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for their support in entrepreneurship and technical skills they offered them for their development. The groups indicated that the traditional knowledge and talents they had has been developed to create useful skills as indicated above to improve their livelihoods at household and community level.
Mr Kwaramba from Kushinga SHG testified that at first he had a negative attitude towards the HiH programme offered. Later on he then decided to pay a visit on one of the training sessions offered by HiH, by listening attentively he came to appreciate and started practising the concepts to his benefit. He further indicated that if it was not for the trainings received he would not have been to where he is today. To date he managed to invest in his livestock and he managed to build a homestead. He also explained that the programme has lowered domestic violence because their living standards has improved through the equal participation of both parts in financial involvement which reduced dependency syndrome.

Mrs Ruvinga from Mukai SHG thanked HiH team for their support and motivation in improving their living standards in job creation so as to alleviate poverty. She explained that it is because of the trainings she received that made her venture into different enterprises to support her family and not only to wait on her husband’s support. However, she asked the team to come with other refresher courses because she indicated that learning is a process and it will enable the group to advance further.

 

The DA present thanked the organisation on its effort to support the government in helping community people by offering entrepreneurship skills which will advance their lives and improve the national economic blue print “ZIMASSET”. He explained that the method used by the organisation is permanent because it emphasises on individuals to be empowered in their socio-economic capacities.

 


Compiled by: Hazel Mhembere
Chikomba Field officer

Slowly But Surely

If this program had come there around 1980, I tell you people would be far by now in terms of development — declared Mr Nyoni reflecting on the impact being made by the Job creation program.

Titus Nyoni is a married man aged 61. He stays with a total of 9 family members in Sabula village, Jibajiba ward. He met Hand in Hand in 2015 when it joined them in their Maliyethu SHG.

Mr Nyoni and family are into market gardening, carpentry and indigenous chickens production. Even if they were business minded before meet- ing with HIH, there was no meaningful progress and records keeping, there was no budgeting at all. HIH therefore equipped them with skills on saving, business records and marketing which has resulted in them being able to look for markets before producing anything.

I have now learnt to record everything down when doing business and we also know budgeting as a family. It is because of saving and budgeting skills

that we have build this 4 roomed house – ex- pressed Nyoni pointing to his newly built house.

 

Mr Nyoni revealed that they were afraid to take risks before but after the trainings, they are now able to take them and they have taught their children to do the busi- ness recored as well when selling vegetables in the fami- ly garden. On 29 September 2017, Titus sold 16 indige- nous chickens and 17 guinea fawls for a total cost of $218. Mr Nyoni revealed that they have 150 indigenous chickens.

 

I want to say to those out there that there is business in indigenous chickens including their eggs. If women in rural areas can work up every morning and care for the chickens, they can earn a living from them – concluded Nyoni.

Changing The Mindset

Sizimisele, Qhubekeni and Kalutulutu are SHGs in Kana ward, Kana block area, Lupane. The groups are locat- ed in remote villages and very few development actors consider them in their development interventions particularly due to their geographical location and the bad roads. Such less involvement in develop- ment activities had led to people accepting their hopelessness situation. However, HIH Zimbabwe has been covering the area for the past two years. The three groups start- ed benefiting from the business manage- ment skills training from early 2016 and completed the course during the same year.

 

It is unquestionable that HIH Zimbabwe `s job creation program has changed the mindset of Kana block people. In 2016, the three groups organized a function where they shared kitchen utensils among them- selves which they had bought through their savings. The groups also managed to pre- pare for their successful and historic gradu- ation ceremony which was held on 20/06/2017.

 

The groups performed plays, songs and

testimonies to show how the program has assisted them. Their performances were a clear demonstration of how they are coming out of pov- erty. The function was at- tended by traditional leaders, com- munity members, youths and the satellite primary school. Groups representatives from Menyezwa Jotsholo also went to witness a dra- matic change of Kana block people`s mind set.

 

Most of the group members do farming, indigenous chickens pro- duction, buying and selling as their enterprises. They take advantage of the remote area where there are no shopping centers to make profit out of it. As evidence of changed mind- sets, when some community mem- bers heard that HIH will register more groups in the last half of 2017, they organized themselves into three SHGs and starting saving on their own. We have organized our- selves and have started saving already waiting for you to come and start giving us trainings and we are going forward,

Self Help Groups graduate in Natane ward 3

Self Help Groups graduate in Natane ward 3

Hand In Hand Zimbabwe (HiH Zim) is a local NGO which implements a poverty reduction programme through job creation using the Self Help Group (SHG) model and enterprise development concept. The programme targets mainly the women, youths and people living with disabilities who have limited resources to sustain a living through capacity building and empowerment.
Of success, HiH Zim in collaboration with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development trained communities in Natane ward 3 located east of Bulilima District to start and grow small businesses so that they can earn an income and confidence in their ability to be economically active. The training sessions which are done in six months covered the following five modules; Self Help Group strengthening. Managing money, Business opportunity identification, managing enterprise marketing and managing enterprise finances.
Having completed the six months modular training, the graduation ceremony was organised at ward level by ward 3 communities with the assistance of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. The ceremony was attended by the Self Help Group members, local leadership, community members, representatives from the government ministries which include Ministry of Women affairs, Gender and Community Development as well as Representatives from Ministry of Small Medium and Cooperative Development. The SHGs took turns to show case the knowledge gained at the SHG through exhibition of wares which are part of the enterprises, speeches from SHGs representatives, songs, drama and poems thus providing the entertainment for the day.

 

“Extension support from the local Agritex officer Miss Nakisani Tshuma has been very instrumental in the success of our indigenous chicken enterprise because she has helped us in improving housing for the chickens”, said Miss Lindiwe Mangani the chairperson for Mzilikazi SHG which is into indigenous chicken production.

 

“The arrival of the project in 2015 was a blessing as it provided us with knowledge on how to start and scale up small businesses by finding bigger markets. After being part of Ukwenza Kunye Self Help Group I borrowed a loan from the group fund valued at US$50. With it I bought winter clothes for selling from Botswana. Since then I have been able to restock my business every month realising a profit margin of US70.00. With the proceeds I have managed to pay school fees for all of my children’s school fees, buy stationary and some food for the family”, narrated Grace Nkomo on behalf of Ukwenza Kunye Self Help Group.

 

SHG member receiving the certificate Area Manager giving speech

The HIH Zim Area Manager for Bulilima officiated as the guests of honour with speech of encouragement, motivation and the certificates were handed to the graduates. In total, over 60 graduates from 10 Self Help Groups (SHGs) received certificates

 

SHG graduates pose at Natane ward 3

Recorded by: Unami

Vegetable Value Addition

Food Processing

Health practitioners recommend colored dish for an improved functionality of the body, meaning it is nutritious. For a successful startup an entrepre- neur use emergent strategy to enlarge or gain a market pie, one can ask how?, a question to be answered later. Trainings that she received from HiH Zimbabwe enabled her to understand the business environment in which she operates in, which is described with high competition faced by horticultural entrepre- neurs in selling of leafy vegetables. Marketing, business opportunity iden- tification, financial man- agement among other trainings are of relevance in running an enterprise. Realizing the increase of competition in horticulture business, she decided to add value to her products where food processing is identified as a strategy to propel the business in- stead of selling them unprocessed.

 

 

Value addition process and promotion

Before handing food, hygiene is of priority, jik is used as an disinfectant for washing hands, utensils and the vegetables. Vegetables are sorted, partially cooked, dried for about 3 days using a solar drier and packaged. This prepares the product for the market. Adding value and identification and develop- ing multiple product lines is a strategy that entrepre- neurs are adopting to and for market entry and gain share. Without promoting the product, it is difficult it is difficult to locate the ‘ market gate’ . Mavis launched her product (solar dried vegetables) at village level in a forum of tradition- al leadership and stockholders that includes the village head (s), councilor and Agritex department and other government officials.

“Though the enterprise is yet to grow, launching the product was part of market research andI was able to interact with the potential customers. Through the re- views I gained insights to develop the product. For ex- ample, customers recommended not to add spices and preservatives to the vegetable. Currently produc- tion is kept low at 60x500g of dried vegetables monthly sold at $0.50 each. If it was not marketing and busi- ness skills that I was capacitated with by HiH Zimba- bwe would not have identified the promising business opportunity and developed the product. The earnings from the business are used to buy the basic commodi- ties, such as relish, salt, sugar to mention a few.” She said.

  

Plans

By 31 December 2017

 To merge with other members’ products and develop group products lines that include coffee, strawberry, dried vegetables and broiler

 To develop the brand name

 To improve packaging

Therefore, one can point out that, food processing as a strategy supports and needs to be adopt- ed by horticulture enterprises. And there is need for the entrepreneurs to invest in branding and packaging that a successful enterprise is launched.

The Greening of a formerly defunct garden: Midas touch to mobilization

Ward 17, Chirambadare Village is the centre of attraction for Batanai Garden, formerly defunct, and comprising of eleven members, 8 women and 3 men. The group was mobilized in 2017 and is currently saving as little as a $1-00 a month whilst contributing towards buying inputs for their group project. The nutritious group garden was primarily obsolete, until such a time the Enterprise Development Facilitator was instructed to renew interest with the garden and group by the field officer. Starting as a journey into the unknown waters, the group members indicated gross absence of the core values of group strengthening spelt out in Module 1, Group Formation and Strengthening. Upon mobilization, the group members were taken through an in depth training about the benefits of belonging to a group enclosed within the organization’s model. History has it that the group garden used to produce for the local community beyond to Chivhu township, as well as boarding schools dotted around the district. Life has been restored within the garden and the group members are now proud owners of a greening garden.

Before the re-ignition of the relationship of the garden with the organization, the members used to plant maize on a season basis ordinarily divorcing the garden from its intended function. Being a recipient of the whole security fence from the Swedish Co-operative and Development and sporadically saving and lending within the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Enterprise Development Model, it became an intricate interest for the district staff to resuscitate the defunct garden. Group members generally had lost hope and interest with the garden and a good number were no longer participants. The few interested only in doing maize farming remained actively planting in an already enclosed garden perimeter that does not allow entry by animals and livestock.

The desire for positive impact, provision of basic nutritious food and the drive towards fortification of food as the major pillars of food security to eradicate poverty within groups and communities prompted the need to re-do and adopt the garden. An intuitive art of re-mobilizing the group was inculcated to the EDF Mrs R Zimbango who carbon copied everything in the quest to bring the members together. The members complied and were taught on the essence of ownership and empowerment by the Field Officer and sporadically agreed in principles. The pursuant visits by the team ignited some hope in some of the group members and they concurred to resuscitating the now defunct garden. With the motherly love, the elderly grannies and uncles started to feel inclined in following what we taught them and agreed to contribute a dollar towards purchasing of seed for the initial planting with the EDF donating some of her own seed to the group for nursing.

To date the garden is now 50% green with members already putting in place plans to cover the whole garden area with plants ranging from butter nuts, potatoes, green vegetables and other garden fruits. Tomatoes and rape vegetables are the major crops so far that the members have put to the ground. Pictures below shows the garden status to date:

 

Above: Part of the garden vegetable

 

 

Above: Chikomba Intern M. Pfumojena inspecting the quality of the vegetables

 

Before engagement with Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.

The sorry state of the garden was generally an eye-sore to all and sundry with some interested local people wanting to evict the sole beneficiaries. Almost about to lose grip of the garden, group members held onto it primarily doing a parallel to the garden’s intended use. Local people around raised concern that the permanently secured garden was hardly in use, hence, should be given to self-driven hardworking individuals willing to improve the community’s problems of acquiring vegetables and other garden products. Their argument held water due to the fact that the desolate piece of land differed in other bush and branch fenced garden which were better used unlike a secured one not hardly made use of.

 

View from the whole garden area

The whole garden area is approximately close a hectare of arable land in wetlands. This enables the group to easily draw water from the shallow wells they have dug for watering. These shallow wells are placed in the middle of the garden for easy access of all the garden members. Although the water sources are not perennial, members intimated that they hardly lack for their crops but were of the opinion that if they get a permanent source of irrigation water, then it will be a very good positive to the group.

 

 

Challenges

The major challenges the group is facing currently is of establishing a resounding market where they can sell their vegetables. Plans were afoot with the organization to try and link them with Supermarkets such as Spar, Pick n Pay as well as vendors from within Chivhu Township. To date, they have not made any significant inroads towards establishing a one stop market, rather, they rely on the common market where all and sundry just come and buy for the day. More so, the absence of money in circulation and liquidity crunch has worsened the group’s quest for maximizing on their garden returns. Rather, the group is mooting an idea to resort to barter trade but with no significant backing on where to market proceeds from the barter trade exercise.

With the water table rapidly fluctuating, the only sources of water for their garden is dwindling at a very fast rate and will prompt to a catastrophic situation if a lasting solution is not put in place. Further to the above, the knock on effects of absence of a secure source of water made the group to fear utilizing the whole garden area with fear that their crops won’t reach maturity.

Recommendations

  1. That the group be assisted through the Community Upliftment Fund and secure a permanent source of water for their garden
  2. That market linkages be put in place where the group can easily supply and replenish the supplies with time
  3. That the group be trained in Technical skills, namely Food Processing, as a value addition concept to easy the market problem
  4. That the group members be handheld by the organization for a prolonged period to easy chances of losing interest with the Horticulture project and the organization’s Saving and Lending model
  5. That expertise in the Horticulture calendar be brought about to assist the group members have a wide range of crops that suits the market all year round.

 

Compiled by Hazel Mhembere

‘’SUCCESS AT MY DOOR STEP ‘’

NameZorodzai Bhengedza
Age38 years
SexFemale
Marital StatusMarried
District ,Ward ,VillageChikomba , 15,Maseva village
Number of HIH members9
SHGMavambo
Individual enterpriseTake away

 

The road to success is often so long and tiresome. In the world many people became business persons in order to escape from the jaws of rampant poverty.  Entrepreneurship has become the answer  and only alternative to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people. Mrs Zorodzai Bhengedza is a good example of such people who are fighting poverty through creating their own enterprises.  She has established a TAKE-AWAY business in Maseva village of ward 15. Years passed as she ignored her talent of preparing best meals. In 2017 she was visited by the HIH team, which brought good news to her and she managed to join other women and formed a SHG named Mavambo meaning To Begin. The SHG consist of 7 females 2 males. As a group they were trained on Internal savings and lending,  how to start, develop and sustain a business. They started contributing $10 per member which they loan to start their various enterprises and return at an interest of 10%. As one of Mavambo SHG group member she managed to secure an internal loan of $80 which she combined with her personal savings and started the canteen.

 

Zorodzai’s Take Away

Zorodzai at work in her Take away. Life has never been the same for her and her family

After receiving trainings from Hand in Hand  she then married theory (what she was taught by the Hand In Hand team) with practice by starting her own enterprise. At the age of 38 she realized there was so much she had not done. One thing she realized, was she could cook and she could do it better than everyone else around her. Now she realised that she has what it takes to be successful and it’s never too old to dream as she is making a difference and enhancing people’s lives. As she has now created employment for two individuals who assist her in fetching water and cutting firewood for her business.

The Picture below shows Mrs Bhengedza’s take away and people enjoying their delightful meals served at the Take Away. Her meals coast $1 per plate and on average Zorodzai’s total sales amount to $10 per day. Thus $300 per month. She sales a variety of dishes which include chicken roast, chicken stew, beef bones, vegetables, potatoes roast, coleslaw, rice and sadza.

 

 

 

Hand in Hand Team enjoying a meal at Zorodzai Take away

Technical Skills Training marinated with a productive exchange visit

The desire to be fish farmers by Self Help Groups in ward 7 prompted the Chikomba district staff to pencil training for the concerned groups on the 14th September 2014. The training, however was facilitated by the organization district resource person, being a member of one Cyborg group in ward 22 Dambatsoko. The aquaculture training was a one day activity and in was graced by different government department staff that work in the ward. Represented groups included Manhize Farmers co-operation group, Manhize Bee keepers group, Pasichigare, Simukai A and Top Twenty. Independent members of the community also came to receive the knowledgeable trainings. One week after the training, an exchange visit was later carried out to the Cyborg group where representative members from the two Manhize groups, Top Twenty and Simukai were taken for a tour of the aquaculture training done by the group in ward 22.

The training commenced with the variety of fish that the farmers could farm, commonly referred to as Tilapia breams and the easiest to rear in the dam-lined fish ponds. Interestingly, the training implored certain characteristics that this kind of fish is known of, being mouth breeders and that their eating habit is temperature related. Of importance to the Tilapia bream that came out of the training is the aspect that their egg laying ratio is equivalent to their weight, with each fish gram equalling four eggs. The facilitator maintained that Tilapia breams can have up to a thousand eggs that are all sure to be hatched, in nests that the male fish could have prepared. On this front, the facilitator explored that the male fish can have as many as four nests that attracts female fish to come and lay eggs into the for fertilization.

 

The participants were given a choice of fish to exceptionally rely on during the training, where they could realise returns. The two varieties, breams and ornamentals can be farmed together but in separate ponds but all having the capacity to give returns that are pleasing to the farmers. Of importance to the breams is the fact that the male bream is specific for meat, hence, a sex reversal exercise has to be done in order to improve on consumptible variety. The sex reversal exercise is done in such a way that every female fish that would have consumed the sex reversing medicine. Only fish for breeding purposes can be left as mixed, and the sex reversal exercise controls the fish population in a pond sine there would be no more breeding.

Last item given to the participants was on the types of fish ponds and how they are to be made with the facilitator encouraging on the dam-lined ponds that are easy to construct. Here, the facilitator urged that ponds should have the deep and shallow ends that save different purposes with the deep end being a fortress to hide from predators and the shallow end as a playground, feeding and breeding area. Farmers realized that the capacity of a fish pond lies within its dimensions, with a square meter being able to house only 10-20 fish.

 

 

 

An illustration pond by one member who hosted the training was toured where corrections and lessons were to be given to the attentively and probing participants present. The lesson learnt underscored the initial belief farmers have that any pit dug can be a fish pond and from the tour of the pond site they learnt the essence of the deep-shallow kind of ponds.

THE EXCHANGE VISIT

The trainings extended to the group members were followed up with a look and learn exchange visit to the site where the facilitator is doing his fish-farming project from. Representatives of the groups that attended the initial training had the advantage to coin everything they learnt with seeing what was on the ground, the actual happenings. The day started with a rundown of how the project started, membership and its relationship to the Hand in Hand Model. Members of the Cyborg saving group took turns to answer the various questions brought up by the visiting team. On issues of co-operation in doing much of the work that solely required labour, the chairperson of the group Mr Liberty Magwenzi intimated that group members understand the values of Unity and Strengths mirrored in Confidence underscored in the lessons they received from the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe trainers. This, he said is the basis of a project going concern with members driven by interest and the desire to succeed. One member Mr Piason Choruwa had it that the labour intensive looking activities of the project were far from being realised by the group members since they worked together all the times in making fish ponds. Hardly did the group hired external labour since they are so entwined that they don’t have conflicts when working.

After all questions were asked and answered, the visiting team were taken for a tour of the fish ponds that comprised both the Tilapia breams and the ornamental gold fish ponds. What started as a world of make belief during trainings became reality to the team with the trainer doing exactly what he said he does when feeding the fish. The bond and relationship he created came into being when he called the fish out of water through playing his hand in the waters and the fishes floating and coming to him.

 

Pictures above shows floating Gold fish awaiting to be fed by their master.

Below are pictures of the Fingerlings and Tilapia bream breeding pond as well as the not yet used commercial pond that will carry 20 000 Tilapia breams.

 

 

 

Plans to go Commercial by the Cyborg group are already underway as they have already constructed a much bigger fish pond that accommodates up to 40 000 Tilapia breams. The pond only awaited spreading of the dam-line and filling up the pond with water since the fish seed is already there in the breeding pond.

Rays of a better tomorrow

Pellagia Waini (27) is a mother of two (2) and married to Whatmore Rusina. She resides in Nhidza Village in Ward 11 of Shurugwi District about 50km east of the scenic Shurugwi Town in Midlands Province, Zimbabwe. Born and raised in Nhidza village and got married at a tender age of 20 years. Her first born child is a girl aged eight (8) years and a young boy aged 11 months. Her education achievement was Ordinary Level from which she did not perform well.

Mostly, Pellagia lives with her two (2) children as her husband is in the capital city of Harare working on contractual basis. This leaves her as the household head with responsibility of the well-being of her children. Her homestead comprises of a small round kitchen, a single incomplete room as a bed room and no sanitary facilities such as a toilet and ablutions hence her family uses the bush or resort to her neighbours premises.

She survives on subsistence farming done at her homestead as the main source of food and income. Fortunately, unlike any other young men and women, she had another piece of land allocated to her for farming. Unfortunately, lack of resources such as draught power, money to hire casual labour and general knowledge of farming as a business restricts her to utilise the land at it is currently idle. This has led her family have two (2) meals a day.

Pellagia owns two (2) goats and 15 indigenous chickens from which she sometimes sell to cushion her daily expenses. Approximately she consumes US$6.00 on food items such as meat and vegetables; US$3.00 on communication and US$7.00 on personal expenses such as soap and body lotion for herself and her family per month. In the last 12 months she used $50.00 on clothing and footwear (herself and her family); $20.00 for house hold appliances; $45.00 for school fees for her daughter (three terms paid for) and $40.00 on her housing improvements.

LET ME TELL YOU MY STORY OF A ray of hope

 My name is Pellagia Waini and I am 27 years old. I am a mother of two (2) and married to Whatmore Rusina. I live in Nhidza Village in Ward 11 in  Shurugwi District. 

In July 2017, I saw the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Team in our village at our community gathering point explaining to my fellow village members about their new project. I remember, the new project was called Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth and it further talked of leading stars and the future of Zimbabwe. That simple reason of Hand in Hand mentioning about leading stars and installation of hope captivated me to listen and join other young people. We were told that the project included training young people about health, life motivation and basic knowledge on how we can start our businesses. I was in dire need of such life skills.

Soon after, we learnt about the self-help group issues and I was so impressed with the “mukando”, Internal Savings and Lending Scheme (ISALs) method of saving. Initially, we were doing the merry go round of buying each other pots and plates with no idea of saving to start a business. This encouraged me the most as I hoped of starting my own business to help me earn money for use at home as my husband was a casual worker with no steady income. I was eager to learn how to manage my money and later I encouraged my old group members to join the project. Currently, we have a group that consist of six (6) females and our group was named Nokutenda (we believe). Using the ISAL scheme, we are now saving US$4.00 per month charging each other a loan interest of 10%.

My hope and vision is to start my own business that will grow into a bigger business. It will become my main source of income complementing our farming at my homestead. With money from my business, I want to build a bigger house and have my own sanitary facilities so that I do not have to use the bush or visit my neighbour for use of their premises. I also want better education for my children so that they can have a good standing in life.” 

COURAGE THE COURAGEOUS

Courage Mungofa is a 28-year-old young born in Mutare in the year 1989. Courage is from village 16, ward 20 under Chief Chirumanzu, under Headman Mundure, and village head Mukonere. He got married in the year 2016 to his wife Rumbidzai Zaranyika and were blessed with one (1) baby girl. Courage attained his ‘O’ level and he hope to continue with education and pursue a profession with Zimbabwe Open University doing a Diploma in teaching.

 

He lives in a household of seven (7) members, four (4) males. The family’s homestead comprises of two (2) thatched huts and a two (2) roomed house. Courage wishes to extend the house so that it can accommodates all household members. Apart from his house development plans, Courage’s business plan is to fully expand his poultry production business with the building of a fowl run being the first step in mind.

Currently, Courage feeds his family with the main source of food being their farming produce from their farming piece of land. This hassled the family to have the standard three (3) meals per day. Having had an exotic chicken enterprise that gave him a monthly net income of $40.00, Courage wishes to resume that business so as to improve his household’s livelihood.

Courage approximately consumes $50.00 on household groceries, $10.00 on transport and communication and $20.00 on personal expenses such as soap and body lotion for himself and the family per month. In the last 12 months, Courage approximately used $40.00 on clothing and footwear (self and family), $180.00 on school fees and $140.00 on housing improvements.  The income was from the selling of maize from which Courage intends to diversify by having poultry enterprises and do value addition of the agricultural produces.

 

Voice of Courage

My name is Courage Mungofa and I am 28 years old. I am married to Rumbidzai Zaranyika and we have a baby girl. I live in Village 16, Ward 20 in Chirumanzu District. 

In September 2017, I was invited by a friend of mine to a Hand in Hand sensitization meeting at Moffart Centre. The manager explained the Hand in Hand background and the new project. I heard that the project focused on the youth and is called Motivated and Entrepreneurial Youth. It was also highlighted that the youth were the leading stars and the future of Zimbabwe.  I was inspired by the fact that Hand in Hand mentioned teaching youth about how to manage businesses. As someone with a business already, I felt this could help me learn more about business, gain skills and use them to improve what I was doing.

Soon after, I encouraged my family members to join in the Self Help Groups (SHGs) so that we could start on group savings.  I felt this would have a huge benefit to us as we have different business ideas but could be able to start them through borrowing and lending money within the group. I hope and believe that these teachings we will acquire and ISALs we have started on will help me enhance my enterprise to the next level, so that that I would be able to achieve my goals for the betterment of my family. At the moment our group comprises of six (6) members, two (2) females and the group name is Duguvic.  As for our savings, we agreed on $10.00 every month with a 10% interest on any amount borrowed.

My current plans are to drill a borehole, work on broiler production, have a piggery, have a productive garden and a shop. All these plans are to achieve my goals of food and income security. I hope and dream of extending my homestead, electrifying it and being able to cater for my family’s needs.

 

GROWING FROM STRENGTH AND STRENGTH

Teboho Noko, 38 years of age lives in Sukwe Village, Ward 18 in Gwanda District. She started the poultry project (layers) in November 2016 with funds obtained from broiler project she was running previously. When the project was implemented she bought a cage which costed her $450 and she also bought 64 birds (layers) at $12 each. Since 2015, Teboho has been one of the successful and aspiring female farmers in Gwanda District. She has grown from strength to strength. In 2015, Teboho started broiler project which enabled her to realize huge profits. The broiler project was so large that she kept almost 500 birds per batch. Now Teboho has expanded and she has ventured in an egg production business. She employs a casual worker but her husband assists to do the work, as well as children when they are on holidays. The layers production business knowledge comes from several sources. She once underwent a 2 weeks training (Matabeleland Go Green) in poultry production under Hi-grow Chickens in 2015, basic poultry production training being done by ward based Agritex officers. Teboho also has gained adequate entrepreneurial skills done by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe.  She also attends ward development meetings, field days and area business shows.

She source drugs and feeds from Gwanda town from shops that include Hi-grow Chicks, National Foods, Agri-Feeds and Pro-Feeds. Marketing challenges include bad debtors and late debt repayments that negatively affect smooth running of the business. The competitive advantage of Teboho’s business is that she faces no competition at all as she is the only one selling eggs at the moment. Therefore, she enjoys good profits from her business.  As narrated by Teboho, sales were extremely high during the past festive season and are stable during the course of the year.

Teboho is looking after her birds very carefully and she is following all instructions given by the technical staff (Agritex Officers) of poultry project. As she provides balanced feeding to her birds and carries out all the vaccination recommended for birds, all her layers are in good and healthy condition. Now all 64 birds are laying and she is collecting daily 58 to 62 eggs from her birds, allowing her to save about $35 per week from egg sales, with the rest of the eggs consumed by family members. Each egg costs $0.15 whilst a crate of 30 eggs cost $4.50.

 

Teboho holding a bucket full of eggs she collects per day

She is using the income to buy food and other family needs such as school books for her children’s education. Furthermore, eggs are now a regular item in their daily family meal especially for children.

“Income from my broiler project and the selling of eggs is used to pay school fees and groceries and to buy clothes for the family. My future plans include buying a large cage that can accommodate 100 or more layers and establishing permanent markets which buy in bulk, such as boarding schools and Gwanda town hotels.

Problems faced include lack of finance to build proper housing structure for eggs production. At present, Teboho house the layers in a mobile mesh wire cage fixed at home. Diseases are not a problem here because there is ward based Agritex Officer with vast experience. Diseases get controlled quickly before they spread. Teboho wants to scale up poultry production projects by increasing numbers in batches. More cages will be bought and more broiler pens will be built. Furthermore, Teboho wants to attend more training courses on broiler management.

 

A cage that has a capacity to hold 65 chickens (layers)

Teboho Noko is also part of the Thandanani Self Help Group with 5 members whom they contribute $5 every month and loan to each other at a 10% interest rate. The group was formed by Hand in Hand in 2015, and up to date they have received adequate training that has enabled all the members to venture into different projects as individuals.

 

Teboho Noko holding one of the layers

When asked about the future plans for her project she highlighted that she wish to expand the poultry project not only through brick and mortar but to make it profitable and she wishes also to share her experiences with other entrepreneurs to inspire them raise their projects equally or even more successfully. Of worthy to note is that Teboho through her commitment and interest in the program she manage to get a Job of volunteer EDF for ward 18 of Gwanda in June 2016. She has displayed a high level of commitment on her job and enterprises. She is so passionate about seeing her community grow their businesses to the level where she is. She is one of the hardest working EDFs and family mother among Hand in Hand Team.

Compiled by: Marupe Sabelo

“NO PLACE LIKE HOME”

Mzingaye Moyo is a 36 year old man who lives in Makwe village, ward 8 in Gwanda district. Moyo is a married man with two (2) children. When Mzingaye finished his high school studies, he could not proceed to tertiary education because of financial constraints his parents were facing. As a result he took up gold panning as means to earn a living. That did not go well with him because he would go for a long time without getting anything thus it wasn’t a sustainable livelihood. At the age of 25 he joined up with his age mates and went to neighbouring South Africa in search of a better living and employment opportunities. Mr Moyo narrated to the team that life in South Africa was far different from what he expected based on the stories of good living and none-stop parties that he heard from his relatives who live and work in South Africa. He struggled for years to get a job because he was an illegal immigrant. When he finally got a job, he worked as a truck off-loader and supermarket cleaner, a job that required no qualification at all. In 2015 Mzingaye decided to visit home and was shocked at the progress his community member had made under self-help groups. He really got interested in learning more about this development initiative. Upon learning that an organisation called Hand in Hand Zimbabwe was offering business development training for free without any joining fee what so-ever, and looking at the different enterprises group members were running, he made up his mind to come back home. Mzingaye then moved back home from South Africa late 2016.

Mzingaye joined Hand in Hand in January 2017. He is part of Thokozani Self Help Group, a 20 member group whose members contribute $40 per month which attracts an interest of 20%. When Mzingaye joined Thokozani, he had identified a business opportunity in the local shops. He pointed out that he had seen a vacant shop that was for rental and wanted to rent it. He borrowed eight hundred United States dollars ($800) and rented the shop. At the end of that month, he was able to repay the loan back to his group in full and remain with a profit. After receiving training on marketing, Mzingaye conducted a consumer preference survey to understand customer needs so that he could penetrate the market and increase sales. He pointed out that he was very grateful to hand in hand for training because findings from his survey revealed that a large number of community members used to receive remittances from South Africa and as a result had developed a preference for those products and these products were not available in the local shops. In February 2017, he made his first trip to Musina in South Africa and bought goods for resale which were preferred by his community. That month, his sales shot up significantly.

Mr Moyo told the Hand in Hand team that he also studied his competitors and noticed none of them were selling hard ware products and motor spares. His village is a mining village and thus has many vehicles but motor vehicle owners had to travel to Gwanda town to buy motor spares. As a result, he decided to turn his shop into a one stop shop which has a variety of product ranging from bicycle spare, motor vehicles service kits, hard ware products casual clothing, school uniforms, houseware goods and consumables. This made his shop very popular in the community. He further went on and embraced plastic money after realising that some customers had mobile money not hard cash. He applied for a mobile money operator licence and obtained it in March 2017. He now accepts mobile money payments.

 

Mzingaye Moyo standing in the motor spares and bicycle spares corner inside his shop

Mzingaye narrated and said “he works this hard because he got really tired of living at the heart of poverty when he tried his lucky in neighbouring South Africa”. He is determined to work hard because he wants create wealth for his family so that they don’t suffer like he did. In July 2017, Mzingaye identified yet onether business opportunity. He realised that the village primary and secondary schools were getting typing, printing and photocopying services from Gwanda town, 70 km from their ward. He therefore bought a laptop and there in one printer and setup the equipment inside his shop in August 2017. He now offer typing, scanning, photocopying and printing services inside the shop.

 

    

Mzingaye with his new laptop and printer 

Mr Moyo makes an average profit of $700 per month. He told the team that he is really happy that he came back home and joined Hand in Hand because he now felt poverty free. He gladly told the team that there is no place like home because here, he can freely participate in all developmental activities and improve his life. He is really grateful to hand in hand for the training and mentorship that they offered him.  He pointed out that although he has made good progress, he will only be satisfied when he stops renting a shop and runs business from his own building. Plans are underway to apply and purchase a business stand of his own so that he cuts rental expenses. He has visited Gwanda Rural District council twice this year to enquire about stands and no new allocations have been made so-far.

THE FAMOUS SHONA PROVERB “MUSHA MUKADZI”

Ruth Nyoni aged 50 is married to Titos Fundira 57 years old reside in Fundira village in ward 15 Shurugwi District 50km east of the scenic Shurugwi town. She was born and buttered in Shurugwi, she is a mother of 2 children and 6 grandchildren. Ruth Nyoni and her family were surviving on subsistence farming prior to meeting Hand in Hand Zimbabwe. As she was telling her story, she testifies that after her husband was retrenched from Zimsaco life was tougher at their homestead, so that they were not able to fend for the family to the extent of roaming around the community beggaring for food

She never thought of being recognised  in the community due to high poverty in her family, the turning point come after she met the Hand in Hand Zimbabwe team doing the sensitisation of the Self Help Group concept. She was impressed by the concept that she went and encouraged other member of their group in September 2015 to join the Hand in Hand. Their group consist of 5 females by the name Takabatana, which is saving $10 per month charging 10% interest.

Mrs Fundira and her family own 1 and half acres of land at the back of her yard but the land was underutilised due to poverty within the family.  After joining the Self Help Group and received training on opportunity identification that’s when she realised a great opportunity within the community and borrowed money from the group savings and start a business. She ventured into farming as a business which specialises in tomatoes production. Ruth and her family started by planting 200 plants of tomatoes at the back of their yard and they were using bucket system to water the garden.

From the proceeds of the business they managed to buy a submissive pump which helped them to increase their production to 1200 plants. She testified that coming of Hand in Hand trainings helped her a lot “Ndaiva chiseko chenyika ndichishaya chekudya asi iko zvino ndakukwanisa kutenga chikafu uye kubhadharira vazukuru kuenda kuchikoro zvandakatadza pavana vangu”.  She further alludes that trainings helped her to further take farming as a business as she is now able to calculate the profits and losses incurred in her business. As she narrates her story she mentioned that they were only 2 round huts at their homestead up to 2015, but now they own a three roomed house roofed with metal sheets. Ruth “I never thought of owning and sleeping in beautiful house, cause of the life we used to leave. Now we own three cattle, one in my name and all the members of Takabata own a cattle.”  Titos Fundira, Ruth’s husband had quoted saying “ I worked for 12 goods years but I failed to build a good house but with the help of this golden woman it only take less than to 2 years to own a beautiful house, shuwa musha mukadzi

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Ruth and her husband had great future plans as they anticipates to have a 1000 litre tank in their garden so that they do away with the bucket system which is labourers. She also appreciate the value addition training which she hope to use in future to maximise her profit from the business. The family believes that with the continued support and trainings from Hand in Hand Zimbabwe and government ministries they are going to achieve a lot in the next few coming years. The also mentioned that if some of their community member embrace the ideas of Hand in Hand their community can become more better as witnessed in what they have achieved in these few years they have been working with the organisation. They went on to give praise to the organisation and encouraged members their came across to keep up the good work and better people’s lives.

Complied by

George T Baya

KNOWLEDGE the liberator

Constantine Mhlanga is 59 years old, a widower and a father of 4 children. 2 of them are married while the other 2 are still under his guardianship. Mr Mhalnga leaves in ward 10 Chachacha which is 25 km south-east of the scenic Shurugwi. He was retrenched from Shangani mine and received his package during the hyper-inflation era. This did not work out well for him and he drowned back into a poor life. However if you visit Constantine house for the first time you will not believe if it is a house of a normal village man. In attending the ward meetings, that’s when he met a Hand in Hand EDF and the field officer who were giving an update as well as selling the programme to the community. He got interested and visited the EDF at her house to find more about the programme and how he will benefit from the trainings. They went and mobilised other village members and formed their group known as Budiriro self-help group which consist of 10 members, 3 males and 7 females. Before joining Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Constantine was practising farming as a norm as everyone in the village do. His yard is more than an acre and blessed with a big pool of water but all this was underutilised. pastedGraphic.png

Prior to Hand in Hand Constantine had only 16 beds in the garden as this was only for subsistence. “I had lost hope in life after losing all my retrenchment package during the hyper-inflation era. I never thought of self-reliance again and was now relying everything on my children. After joining Hand in Hand the trainer taught me on opportunity identification, record keeping and marketing. I am now a well-known man in the village and rich in knowledge.”

Farming as business

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After joining Hand in Hand thats when he realised he can make a living out of the resource that were at his disposal which is a big pool of water and fertile soil and that’s when he enlarged his garden and planted 50 beds. He is now earning a living out of the horticulture, he is now supplying more than 100 bundles of green vegetables per week at the local restarants each cost $0.50. “ When I look back to almost  a year ago I could not even earn $5 per week and I was relying on my children for everything, but now am able”  

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Constantine harvesting tomatoes

Constantine has managed to do a lot from the profit that he is making from the garden and with the help from his children, he managed to construct a borehole and buy a tank in case of the big pool drying in the summer, he can water the garden all year. In addition to that he testified that he is now able to fend for his family and send the last born to school who is now going to Selusi University.

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FUTURE PLANS

Constantine is planning to have security fence around his homestead so that he start fish farming and piggery. He further alludes that, the homestead should be electrified as soon as possible as the fish and piggery project requires a lot of water which should be pumped from the borehole.    

Complied by 

George t baya                                                                 

HAND IN HAND A MESSIAH

Lucy Mepedzisi, a woman from Mhangami village in ward 10 which is located 28 km South of the lovely mountainous Shurugwi town, was born into a poor family 54 years ago. She is married and blessed with 4 children all are married but her husband was retrenched. Since the retrenchment of her husband life became a continuous, difficult journey of hardships. She never dreamt that she would own anything of value in life.

As she was narrating her story one could easily cry because of the life, she lived was so wretched, to the extent that she was given quasi names in the village. However a new dawn has arrived for Lucy, after she met Hand in Hand in 2014 as it provided knowledge on enterprise development and technical skills training in various aspects of life. She invited some of the women in her ward to form a group which they called Mukadzi Kushanda. The group consists of 14 women and at first they started off by saving $2 each and currently there are saving $10 per member every month at 20% interest charged on disbursed loans.

Prior to meeting Hand in Hand she had a business but nothing come out of that business as it was mainly hand to mouth consumption, however life changed after meeting the Hand in Hand team, as she borrowed money from their self-help group funds and started a small enterprise.”

She appreciated that, she never had an opportunity to go to school, so the Hand in Hand trainings were of much essence in her life, as she was not aware of any basic business topic “Nhasi ndatovewo graduate”. After receiving several trainings from Hand in Hand, she is now able to identify business opportunities, do proper record keeping and budgeting in her enterprises.  She lamented that since obtaining these trainings her life started to change and the business started to boom, all the pseudo names she was given in the village started to disappear. Mrs Mupedzi was grateful of the work that Hand in Hand in collaboration with government department is doing in their ward. “My sincere gratitude goes to the Hand in Hand and the government ministries for their untiring support and being an eye opener in business arena and technical skills training. Ndakadzidziswa kuchengeta chikafu chezvipfuwo zvangu sezvo mafuro achinetsa”

Lucy borrowed money from the group, started an enterprise of selling airtime, netting $2 profit  weekly but she never rested. She appreciated the trainings especially module one of Money Manage, as she is now  able to plan and budget well in her enterprise. In addition to that, Lucy’s diversify her enterprise ventured into selling of clothes and now she is enjoying a noble profit. A lot has changed in her life since obtaining trainings from Hand in Hand, she managed to renovate the house, tubing and electrifying the house and bought a nice black counch. In addition to that, she is now paying $40-00 school fees for her 2 granchildren both are at primary school.

Mr Mupedzisi had this to say “ After retrenchment, I thought it was end of life and things were difficult as I could not fend for my family, but God just answered our prayers through Hand in Hand trainings and the ISAL concept. I am now a man among other men in the village as our homestead looks beautiful through the hard work and teachings obtained by my better half Lucy.”