NEW: Newly-found skills empower young rural women

26 Mar, 2024 - 15:03 0 Views
NEW: Newly-found skills empower young rural women

The Sunday Mail

Rudo Mandiro

FOR many rural women who come from impoverished backgrounds, it is an aspiration to start their own businesses and become financially independent.

This aptly describes Sibongile Ndinga (21) from Shamva, who is now financially independent as she uses her new tailoring skills to make some clothes for resale.

Sibongile gained the skills after she volunteered for the Youth Build Zimbabwe initiative at Simukaupenye Integrated Youth Academy (SIYA) in Shamva.

The Youth Build Zimbabwe initiative is spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Even though she failed her ‘O’ Levels, Sibongile says her background never discouraged her from achieving her goals.

The dependency syndrome affects many young ladies in Mashonaland Central, but Sibongile wants to break that cycle of dependency and even break the glass ceiling.

She said before starting the skills training programme under the Youth Build Zimbabwe initiative, she had lost all hope and did not know one day she would gain financial independence.

“After I failed to get good grades at ‘O’ Level in 2019, I felt devastated with no hope of the future as I thought I had lost the only chance of a secure future,” said Sibongile.

“But by chance, I met three girls who were carrying their sewing machines and designs in cutting. That moment changed my life.”

Sibongile said she followed the girls with curiosity, and was happy when they asked her to join them.

“They told me to join the arts and crafting friendly centre, which equips youths in rural Shamva,” she said.

Sibongile had no skills in sewing, but to her surprise, the first sample she tailor-made was a uniform, including a blazer.

She says this was her pride and joy, as she now looked forward to more classes to acquire more skills.

“I never thought I would sit on a (sewing) machine and do something meaningful, that would financially assist me and my family,” she said.

She is now able to tailor-make garments such as uniforms, dresses and skirts.

Sibongile dreams of owning a fashion shop one day.

She said: “I believe that skills development programmes being initiated by the Government through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training across the province are helping less-privileged women and men to become self-sustainable, empowered and financially independent.”


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