Young people from Matobo set up a clothing manufacturing business

The Chronicle

Sikhulekelani Moyo, business journalist

A GROUP of 10 young people from the Kezi area in Matobo District, Matabeleland South, started a successful clothing manufacturing business, which now supplies uniforms and other clothing to the local market.

Harnessing young talents through innovation and creating employment opportunities for locals is at the heart of the project, which is not only inspiring but highlights the potential of young people.

After undergoing training in business management and production, the group obtained financial assistance from the Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with Save the Children Zimbabwe.

These young people are among the beneficiaries of the $250,000 capacity building support from The Coca-Cola Foundation which is administered by Save the Children Zimbabwe.

As part of this initiative, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded funds to Save the Children Zimbabwe to fund the implementation of life-changing and empowering projects for young people across Zimbabwe, including garment making, poultry and gardening.

Operating as “Well-Wishers Group”, the Matobo Youth Project was officially handed over to the community last week and is now operating autonomously with an inspiring motto: “Tomorrow is Brighter”.

Women’s Microfinance Bank

Members of the group said they are now able to support their families and contribute to national development through the making of clothes. They paid tribute to partner organizations and government support through training and facilitation, which got them off to a good start in April this year.

Well-Wishers team representative, Ms Anatolia Moyo, said they were eager to involve more young people in the project to ensure inclusive development.

“The project has helped us a lot. We got the machines and fabrics from Save the Children in April 2022 after undergoing business management training and business selections,” she said.

“We received machines and a sewing kit including 52 meters of fabric and managed to produce clothes, which we sold and got around R1,410, which we used to buy different types of fabric for the production of church wear, school uniforms and casual wear.”

Empower the Bank

Ms Moyo said the company now supplies primary and secondary school uniforms to schools in the community, adding that demand for their products is growing.

Going forward, she said they expect to expand the project and help the community reduce criminal incidents and youth involvement in unethical behaviors such as drug and substance abuse, as well only to restrict migration to cities and out of the country.

The government has already put in place a supportive framework to promote the empowerment of youth and other vulnerable groups in communities such as women and persons with disabilities by accessing funding through established institutions such as the Women’s Micro Finance Bank, Empower Bank and other platforms.

Speaking at the project handover, Coca-Cola Foundation Country Director Mr. Archibold Ndlovu said 3,800 rural youth from Matobo, Binga, Kariba and rural Beitbridge were being supported under their scheme.

Save the Children’s Country Director, Ms Heather Kerr, said the projects aimed to improve rural livelihoods and tackle gender-based violence as well as reduce crimes associated with poverty. — @SikhulekelaniM1

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