Trust trains 500 youths

Tichaona Mudhobhi, 24, was inspired to form Takunda Youth Development Trust (TYDT) after attending an international youth conference in the USA in 2010.

Course facilitator, Nhlonipho Gatyeni.
Course facilitator, Nhlonipho Gatyeni.

“I was lucky to be selected to represent young Africans at an international conference and realised the need for us to find our solutions. With the assistance of students from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and Lupane State University, TYDT was formed in 2012,” said Mudhobhi in an interview with The Zimbabwean.

The trust has trained more than 500 youths in leadership and social entrepreneurship skills. “With support from the USA’s Public Affairs Section, we developed a training manual to educate the youth in leadership and life skills. We also do awareness creation on gender main-streaming and the creation of young people’s networks,” said Mudhobhi.

After a one year basic leadership course, students are expected to empower their own communities to manage their own problems.

“Students decide on community development projects after interacting with community members. They are expected to respect the values acquired, respect others and to act with integrity within developing communities,” he said.

Sinobakhosi Sibanda, now employed by TYDT, described the trainings as beneficial and empowering.

“The leadership skills training have been very useful and relevant to my work. I have now developed confidence in whatever I am doing,” he said.

Ephraim Muzavazi and a group of like-minded youths used the opportunity offered by TYDT to rear chickens. “We started with 50 chicks and now we have more than 170 birds, which we are selling at $7 each,” he said. The project is doing so well that they hope to raise $2000 by the end of 2014 and pay their university tuition fees.

The group has started assisting other youths to rear chickens. “The project has inspired many others in Mpopoma who now ask our advice,” said a proud Muzavazi. “A lot of people including older people are now coming to us seeking information on how to rear chicken. We have undergone various courses on poultry rearing facilitated by TYDT,” he added.

Youths are given seed money of $250 to start their businesses and many are already running a variety of enterprises after doing the TYDT course.

Course facilitator, Nhlonipho Gatyeni said TYDT courses were designed to build the capacity of young people to take initiative in addressing their own challenges. “We believe that taking initiative is critical in practicing leadership in communities and is integral in developing young people capacity to be socially responsible and engaged citizens. Under our guidance students are able to make a real impact on their own surroundings, realizing that change is possible,” said Gatyeni.

The trust will host a three day debate competition in September for young people aged 15 to 35. “Through this we hope to establish a network of youths who are articulate and well-informed. We also want to promote the participation of youth voices in the shaping of policies and programmes in Zimbabwe through partnership with government and civic society,” said Mudhobhi.

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