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

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.

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.

 

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,