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.


 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.”