Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali) Zimbabwe will next year direct more efforts towards community development with a view to empower ing the marginalised and help stamp out poverty.
By Style Reporter
Speaking after the year-end meet-up, which saw the youth organisation donating $500 worth of goods and groceries to Redemption Children’s Home in Marimba Park, Harare, the organisation’s Zimbabwe chapter coordinator Takemore Mazuruse said they felt compelled to do more in community development.
“Yali is a youth-led organisation that focuses on raising responsible leaders who are alive to obtaining challenges in their communities,” Mazuruse said.
“For that reason, in 2019 we are focusing more on responding to the various challenges that affect disadvantaged communities around Zimbabwe.”
Mazuruse said their year-end reflections at the meet-up had awakened them to the many challenges that communities face, hence the focus on community response programmes in the coming year.
“In 2018 we focused more on capacity development for our members so that we promote excellence and productivity in the work they do,” he said.
“Impressed by the progress within our individual members, we feel it’s time that we also spare a thought for less privileged communities through implementing sustainable community development programmes that can help end the poverty cycle.”
The highly-subscribed Yali meet-up drew youths from Harare and other provinces like Mashonaland East and Midlands as well as Procurement Students and Professionals Association of Zimbabwe (Prospaz) and youths who attended the event spoke glowingly of the network.
Pamela Ngozo (25) a Yali alumnus who was in the civic leadership track at the Regional Leadership Centre in South Africa, said the youth network had brought impetus to her work and approach to life and community development.
“Before Yali, I was focusing more on what I couldn’t do than what I could do,” she said.
“When I then applied for this programme and got accepted under the civic leadership track, my horizons were broadened and now I am seeing more opportunities and possibilities.”
Ngozo, who is a qualified mathematics and computer science teacher, said beyond her work she was also into enterprise and also empowering youth in her community.
“Beyond my profession as a teacher, I am also an entrepreneur who buys and sells and that is helping me with daily income,” she said.
“I also help local youths with basic information technology skills at the same time assisting university students to develop dissertations, which they can run as life projects for survival.”
Bolivia Mabwe, an events and catering services business owner who hosted the youths prior to the visit to Redemption Children’s Home for the donations, said she was inspired by the Africa-wide youth network.
“I run Bolivia Hiring and Catering Services, a fully registered and functional events management company,” she said.
“While I have always been blessed with business acumen, being part of Yali brought meaning to my life in that I now see life from an all-inclusive perspective.”
The fast-rising chef said she was heartened by the alumni’s contributions towards Redemption Children’s Home.
“Just being part of a network that responds to community challenges as seen by our donation to the children’s home is quite enriching, it is our hope that we continue doing more in 2019,” Mabwe said.
Redemption Children’s Home manager Shangirai Nhimba, who received the donations on behalf of the home, said he was moved by the young people’s gesture.
“Young people are usually more concerned about trends, looking good and funny, but I am shocked we have such responsible youths,” Nhimba said.
“I am really moved by this gesture and I hope we continue having more partners so that we cushion ourselves from the challenges of running the home.”
Nhimba said the home continued to suffer from many challenges, particularly over school fees and uniforms for the children they are looking after.
Yali Zimbabwe monitoring and evaluation coordinator Taurai Zigore said it was in their design to implement sustainable community development programmes in 2019 and Redemption Children’s Home was going to be one of their beneficiaries.
“During training, our alumni were exposed to various tracks among them business and entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership and they are all involved in various pursuits for survival,” he said.