A local nongovernmental organisation Hand in Hand Zimbabwe has launched a Green Enterprise Programme in rural Gwanda which is set to benefit more than more than 200 individuals with economically and environmentally viable climate smart enterprises aimed at fighting poverty.
Through the programme a total of 300 people living in poverty and vulnerable situations in Gwanda district will benefit through the gardens that use green energy for provision of water and bee keeping interventions.
The individuals will also receive entrepreneurship and technical skills trainings.
Five horticultural gardens will be established and supported by the organisation through the drilling and installation of five community based boreholes equipped with solar driven water pumps while the bee keeping entrepreneurs will get support through bee hives and sheds.
In an interview Hand in Hand Chief Executive Officer Felix Tete said the project is meant to benefit 240 women and 60 men with skills and support that will diversify their livelihood options.
He said the project´s overall objective is to contribute to improved sustainable economic activities and strengthen resilience to climate change for women and youth in Gwanda district.
He added that the long term impacts of the programme will contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of no poverty, zero hunger and climate action by creating sustainable economic opportunities (green enterprises) that both support poverty eradication, equal rights to economic resources and integrate measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“The targeted groups for this program are extremely resource limited female headed households facing low incomes and food insecurity as well as challenges in looking after their children and other dependants within the households.
We are also targeting child headed families and vulnerable individuals belonging to highly marginalised groups such as orphan youth and people affected by HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Gwanda Area Manager Unami Dube said since the inception of the programme, the response from the district has been overwhelming.
She said the organisation is still on the selection process of the target groups in the most vulnerable communities in the district.
“The identification of target groups will be further supported by the collaboration and consultation with the traditional and other community leaders. This will help adding legitimacy to the project activities and avoiding potential risks of conflicts within the communities,” she said.
Hand in Hand Zimbabwe is a non-profit organisation whose main aim is to is to help poor and marginalised people create better livelihoods for themselves and their families in rural Zimbabwe.
This is done through a help to self-help approach, mainly aimed at women and youth.
Hand in Hand Zimbabwe´s approach is built upon a 4-step model consisting of social mobilisation into self-help groups, training in entrepreneurship and economic development, facilitating access to internal and external microloan scheme and market linkage and value addition.
Through its interventions, the organisation has made great strides in the fight against poverty in Lupane, Nkayi, Bulilima, Gwanda, Shurugwi, Chikomba and Chirumhanzu.