333 Hopley women and youths graduate in livelihoods skills program


By Nonhlanhla Ngwenya

Silveira House in association with American Friends Service Committee lived up to the proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” as they trained 333 women and youths in different entrepreneurship skills.

Silveira House is a Jesuit run Social Justice and Development Centre pushing for humanitarian issues such as conflict resolution and community development and advancement of the marginalized people. 

Its objectives is to liberate communities through training them in livelihood skills and capacity to speak out and demand what is rightfully theirs. 

 American Friends Service Committee partnered Silveira House and the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Enterprise Development in a bid to educate and train residents from Hopley in a Technical and Vocational skills Training program. 

The project has been instrumental in uplifting lives of women and youth, moving them from places of vulnerability and marginalization to meaningful contributors to the economy and their immediate families.

Speaking at the graduation of 333 women and youths who recently completed three years of training in different disciplines on the 14th June 2018, American Friends Service Committee country representative Ntabiseng Nkomo expressed gratitude and excitement at the job well done by Silveira House in training the community of Hopley. 

She explained that the project participants were recruited in a group formation exercise after which they identified trades which they thought they would make viable incomes in. 

The groups then started advocacy and lobby efforts in terms of lobbying for land, water, electricity and infrastructure. 

She went on to reveal that after three the city council granted the participants one hectare of land, in which American Friends Service Committee and its donors have been building a factory shell for the newly graduates to work from.

Other notable guests who spoke to the graduates were Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa, Permanent Secretary for Industry and Commerce as well as Boka Floors Group Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Rudo Mutambanengwe whose premises are situated in Hopley.

Mrs Mutambangwe expressed excitement saying 80% of their workforce comes from the community and that four of their employees graduated in the Silveira House Livelihoods project.

She added that it gave her ‘great joy knowing that these four young people have gained life skills that will be able to sustain them during the tobacco off season.’

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa commended Silveira House and American Friends Service Committee for a life changing project that will see young people and women sustaining their lives for the rest of their lives. 

The Permanent Secretary said as a ministry they have committed to see the SMEs grow and will support, monitor, review and assist them with markets and accessing financing. 

The graduates graduated from different projects such as Leather making, Home Décor, Dress making, Building, Electronics and Roofing and Tiling to name a few. Silveira House continues to push for emancipation of marginalized communities sixty-four years later.







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