community builders:with Takemore Mazuruse
Women empowerment local non-governmental organisation Talia Women’s Network held its first Street Business School (SBS) graduation in Musarara village in Chiweshe on October 1.
Talia Women’s Network was granted a unique opportunity to use the SBS curriculum to complement its entrepreneurship and financial literacy training. SBS is a leader in global training. Their mission is to end extreme poverty by empowering women and entrepreneurs. They also empower grassroots organisations to implement their proven and effective business training.
A total of 30 women were excited to receive their certificates after going through a six-month training programme. The women were trained on business ideas, market research, customer care and other basic business concepts. The curriculum focuses on ending the cycle of poverty and is not about giving hand-outs to communities.
The graduation event was graced by representatives of the two major seed house companies in Zimbabwe, namely SeedCo and Syngenta Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union executive director Paul Zakariya, who also chairs the board of Talia Women’s Network, as well as Global Leadership Summit Zimbabwe country director Harold Chilowa.
Speaking during the event, Talia Women’s Network director Saliwe Mutetwa-Zakariya encouraged the graduates to put into use the skills and knowledge they acquired during the training to start businesses and improve their households’ livelihoods.
“This is not the end of this programme. It’s now the start of a new journey to implement what you were taught throughout the training and improve your lives and the community,’’ Mutetwa-Zakariya said.
She said her organisation was conducting a number of empowerment training programmes, boosting women’s confidence and empowering them with life skills in a generally challenging environment.
“With Talia Women, we have running programmes in margainalised communities as well as those in the cities like Harare where patriarchy and other societal ills have limited women’s potential,” she said.
“Our programme focuses on women’s rights, advocacy and lobbying as well as life skills so that beyond awareness, we also help women to become self-sustainable. We are happy with our strides and we will continue reaching out.”
Talia is also running economic empowerment programmes in Mashonaland Central province’s Ruya area in Mt Darwin covering areas like Masembura, Mashambanhaka and Musarara.
These have groups of women involved in agriculture technical training, skills training and entrepreneurial ventures in order to earn an income.
Speaking at the same event, Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust CEO Godfrey Chinoera said knowledge was very important and encouraged the graduates to take seriously the trainings they received from Talia for them in order to economically emancipate themselves.