LIVELIHOODS

FACILITATE THE RIGHTS TO FOOD & ENABLE AGRICULTURAL GROWTH IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Historically, the rural areas in Binga, Hwange and Lupane districts have been based on rain-fed agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods, but with the effects of climate change on agriculture, many families are struggling to make ends meet. High levels of vulnerability and low adaptive capacity across these districts have been linked to, among other things, poverty.

Increasing Women’s Contribution to Food Production and Enterprise

We provide safe and sufficient water for farming and domestic use. We invest in developing women’s leadership through women’s networks and strengthen their entitlements to own and control productive resources and assets. We challenge beliefs and systems that limit women's ability to participate in markets and those that undervalue women's economic contributions. We also support women's rights as waged workers at all levels in value chains and markets.

Village Saving and Lending Program – Micro Finance for the Rural Poor that Works:

Our approach to the Village Saving and Lending program in Binga and Lupane districts has created the potential of a revolution in rural microfinance, especially in the most marginalized communities. It offers a solution to the problems of sustainability and in situational instability as it has improved the quality of life for the members of households participating.

Entrepreneurship and Micro- Enterprise Skills Development

Under our Integrated Learning, Skills and Entrepreneurship Advancement Initiative (ILESEA) Program in Binga, we are working with our technical partner Silveira House to provide access to entrepreneurship skills and informal market opportunities to rural youth. A number of functional and vibrant groups exist in Lubanda, Manjolo, Muchesu, Saba and Siachilaba wards concentrating on bakery, welding, carpentry, leather making, radio and Television repair. Through strategic linkages to the Ministries of Small and Medium, Enterprises and Youth Development, these enterprise groups have also been linked to marketing opportunities including the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and the Binga District SMEs Expos.

The Self-Help Group Programs on Women’s Empowerment

In 2013 we began the transformation from remote villages with a bleak future – severe food insecurity, malnutrition, and almost no cash – to thriving villages with products that are being sold on markets locally. This all started with the Self-Help Group Approach (SHG) which brought women groups together inside the villages of Hwange district to support one another, access financial and public services, and spearhead changes that affect the entire community. The Self-Help Group program gives women access to working capital, it increases their ability to “generate choices and exercise bargaining power as well as develop a sense of self-worth, a belief in one’s ability to secure desired changes, and the right to control one’s life”.

Responsible Community-Based Tourism Program:

We support responsible tourism to explore the ways in which the tourism sector improves conditions for women and young persons throughout the districts, and, in so doing, benefit the communities and the environment on the economic and social development in our region. We look at ways of overcoming obstacles to the empowerment and equality of women and youth in the tourism sector; and we work in coordination between governments and the private sector toward promoting responsible tourism, using tourism as a way to facilitate stronger relationships with visitors. Most importantly we facilitate through the private, public and community partnership a sustainable business structure within the community and preserve culture, as well as conserve biodiversity and natural resources. For more information on community-based tourism in Binga visit: http://www.kaamuzacommunitytours.info

Fair Trade Program:

Busungu Mbubupa (Perseverance) Youth Group in Binga district are practicing artists in their community. They weave Ilala baskets, create wood carvings from tree plantations specifically used for wood carvings and they design art pieces and jewellery from recycled materials to have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work.  We create opportunities for artists to connect with the people who buy the produce that they all depend on. For example, we link artists to national and international art events such as the Harare International Festival of the Arts or the International Folk Art Market in the USA so that artists’ visibility at these events creates opportunities for exchange, to learn and to network. For example we linked a young orphan basket weaver by the name of Matron Mweembe to the Harare International Festival of the Arts and to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe where she met Cristina McCandless who then produced a film called “From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe”. For more information visit: http://www.fromzimbabwetosantafe.com/film.html