ZANE donors are transforming communities to become self-sufficient. ZANE helps people in the high-density areas around Zimbabwe’s major cities to start their own businesses. In this way ZANE is enabling communities to become self-sufficient and is helping to re-build Zimbabwe society.
Due to the collapse of manufacturing and industry in Zimbabwe in recent years, the informal sector has increasingly emerged as the only way to survive for people in the poorer urban communities. ZANE is working in these communities seeking models for sustainable solutions.
ZANE Business Projects
The first scheme is to assist groups of women to help themselves through transforming aid into trade. With initiative and perseverance, most of these women are slowly lifting themselves out of poverty.
The pictures show two groups engaged in manufacturing soap and polish as well as women who holding bottles of washing liquid for sale. The package on the ground is packets of sugar which has been purchased with their profit. The other picture shows women holding tins of floor polish for sale. They have accumulated an extraordinary amount of groceries including sugar, rice, soap and salt.
With the help of a small amount of seed capital money ($150) a group of women will work together to either manufacture or buy produce which is sold locally. Each circle of production or business transaction will produce a small profit which is shared amongst the women. The profit is usually sunk into groceries. The capital funds are retained by the team leader in order to ensure the next cycle of production.
A small local committee has been formed to take responsibility for monitoring the successes and failures of the project. Expenses are paid for the working of this committee, which visits all the projects once a month. We continuously look for ways to reward successful outcomes.
So far we have engaged 34 groups comprising 152 women. 82 women are involved in successful groups. 30 are doing ok, meaning they are surviving. 20 are doing badly which means they are likely to fail. 20 have failed which means their groups are no longer functioning.
In the second project we partner EPAP ZIMBABWE to transform interest-free loans into a sustainable income generating project.
e’Pap is a pre-cooked fortified food that uses state of the art nutritional chemistry to deliver a food portion containing 28 nutrients in a bio-available form. It is certainly not a medicine.
e’Pap is used across the continent where up to 2 million food portions a month are consumed. For more information go to: http://epapzimbabwe.blogspot.com/2013/07/welcome-to-epap-zimbabwe.html
We partner with ePap Zimbabwe by sponsoring vendors with their initial batch of 25 packets of EPAP worth $50. Each packet costs US$2. They will sell the packet for $2.50.
Thereafter vendors are required to retain sufficient capital from sales to renew their stock and become independent. We will monitor the success of each vendor. e’pap Zimbabwe provides training and help with marketing.
The Embroidery Project that was started at the end of 2012 continues to grow and develop. The ladies have been working hard on how they would like to run this project and see it grow. We have had training sessions on various aspects of cutting and sewing, with emphasis on quality control and keeping to standards. We have also done basic training on marketing and pricing and focusing on market research which will lead to expanding the product line.
This area of running a business is understandably new to the ladies. They have shown much interest and been enthusiastic on how it can all work together. I am trying to encourage them to always look at who their target market is and before going ahead and making products, which has generally been the case.
We sent 25 cushion covers, which were beautifully made, packaged and labelled to Colorado USA. This was a small step and a good start for the project. The ladies were so encouraged and excited by doing this.
I see huge potential in this project and we are currently looking at purchasing an embroidery machine if we can raise enough money. We have been tasked with getting quotes for a good embroidery machine and a straight sewing machine.
It is heartening to see the difference in attitude in the five ladies working on this project, they have taken ownership, are full of gratitude at the chance to learn and earn! They are showing an increased sense of purpose and higher self-esteem. I have watched as they grow in confidence in such a short time.
One lady in particular, who is generally very quiet and reserved, came out of her shell slowly and started contributing ideas and praying for the group this month. She is a single mother of five children and she shared that her greatest desire is to see her children go to school. We discussed how this can be a reality and how we can achieve this.
To ensure that this strategic work continues, please donate today.
Farming Training Programmes
ZANE works with foundations for farming training programmes. ZANE trains local communities in the high-density areas surrounding Zimbabwe’s major cities in sustainable farming methods. The vision is to demonstrate a model of community life which will allow grassroots communities to help to rebuild their broken country from the bottom up in a sustainable way.
The following is a report from a ZANE training co-ordinator:
We urged each of the farmers to plant half of their crop using compost and half using fertiliser and then compare the output from these two areas. The purpose of this was to demonstrate to the farmers how effective compost is in the production of maize and build their confidence in this method.
Ultimately, we want the farmers to use compost exclusively in a bid to encourage self-sufficiency.
In each of the areas we planned to have a demonstration garden at a very visible site so as to ‘advertise’ this amazing and beneficial tool that we have. All the farmers were given two weeks to prepare their land before we assess their efforts and given string for demarcating the plots, seed and fertilizer where appropriate. Stringent rules were to be followed and numerous follow-ups taken in order to achieve the excellence required for the method to be successful.
A few of the ladies already run their own ‘tuck shops”/vegetable stalls, so we discussed and did a small workshop on how to improve and increase sales, make enough profit, etc.
The ladies leave as early as 3 am to Mbare Market to purchase vegetables to bring back and sell.