ZBIN is now officially a regional centre of women empowerment! This is not surprising because 60% of the ZBIN board is made up of women. The secretariat of ZBIN is made up of 99% women. Our membership is made up of 60% women and our programme beneficiaries to date are 90% women. It is not therefore surprising that most of our successful projects are designed by women for women!
We would therefore like to share with you some of our women aligned programmes to look forward to and they include:
Tapestry (Production of carpet rugs)-we introduced the programme in July 2017 and to date we have empowered more than 100 women in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana. We will be launching it in Namibia and South Africa in Mozambique in October. The programme is expected to empower more than 15,000 women by the end of 12 months helping them to form business ventures that makes and sells carp rugs. No better way to empower women than to let them use their intelligence and innovation! The programme is regional in focus and has started on a good note with an initial training of Regional Tapestry Champions being conducted at the Zimbabwe Business Ideas and Network Offices in Monavale, Harare. The programme combines technical skills with entrepreneurship skills –there is more emphasis on digital markets so that women can access markets beyond traditional marketing methods. An added bonus of the programme is free training to women in prison which seeks to rehabilitate women leaving prisons in Southern Africa.
Baking and Cooking Classes-The Baking and Cooking Community is the second largest ZBIN community with over a thousand members. Women share cooking and baking information especially baking for commercial purposes. Training workshops are conducted every month by individual group members and has worked well for the group.
Making Smoked Chicken and Sausages– A new programme still in our laboratory, it is meant to unlock business opportunities by empowering women to produce smoked chickens and sausages and also producing ham for sale. The programme is scheduled to start at the end of October and will be cascaded to the region using the same model we used for Tapestry. The programme has a target of 10,000 regional women reached in 12 months.
Detergents and Perfume Making-The programme to be launched in November and seeks to cascade our empowerment initiative to regional countries. There are existing initiatives running in the region but they are not marketed well and in many cases there are no central portals for information dissemination or learning-a key weakness we will be correcting in creating one central place for learning or information dissemination purposes.
So look forward to more exciting women empowerment initiatives in Southern Africa and join one of them. We have other programmes targeting the Christian Communities through business presentations and Youth Entrepreneurs Programme.
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