Want to start a business? Learn to drive?

After serving with Destiny for Women and Youth Empowerment Trust as a marketing agent, Bios Gweshe’s work with communities left him determined to make a difference. Late last year, he formed the Zimbabwe Development Centre for Youth Empowerment Trust.

Barbra Zimbe: The free provisional drivers' lessons helped me pass my tests.
Barbra Zimbe: The free provisional drivers’ lessons helped me pass my tests.

The Trust, headed by Gweshe as board chair, has since started programmes aimed at providing marginalised people of all ages with free lessons up to Advanced level, provisional driving lessons, income generating projects, sporting activities and commercial courses. The scheme even offers musicians recording facilities so that they can further their musical careers.

“I saw gaps in humanitarian activities by both the government and NGOs and had a vision to make a difference,” says Gweshe, who came up with a one-man crafted constitution for the Trust.

With advice from some respected and knowledgeable members of the community, the Trust took off. So far, 40 local people have benefited from the driving courses and many have gone on to gain their competent drivers’ licences.

“The lessons were easy to master since they were in our local languages,” said Barbra Zimbe. “I went on to pass the tests at the Vehicle Inspection Depot with ease.”.

To provide free academic studies, ZIDCYET has engaged the services of a local school headmaster and voluntary teachers.

Enthusiastic youths and adults from Dzivarasekwa suburb are participating in the scheme at Ordinary and Advanced levels.

To keep unemployed youths from the streets, ZIDCYET has also launched a poultry project on a piece of land acquired in the neighbourhood. Construction of chicken runs is well underway, and there will be a thousand chickens and six workers to begin with. More youths will be employed as the project grows with each chicken sold.

By end of the year, Gweshe is optimistic the project will have grown to more than 5,000 chickens and 20 staff.

A local businessman and retired soldier, Edias Gondo, has provided an office, transport, grinding meal and other logistics for ZIDCYET activities.

Gondo, who helped the Trust acquire land for the poultry project, said it was the responsibility of able elders to help youths and other marginalised members of communities make a living.

“There is no formal employment for youth and, as parents and the business community, we are obliged to provide and show direction towards community empowerment,” Gondo said.

A prominent farmer, Gondo offered one of his grinding mills to ZIDCYET for the manufacture of stock feed. He will also help the Trust set up a food takeaway at the poultry site to create an outlet for the chicken.

Perhaps one of the unique aspects of Gweshe’s vision is that it offers something for everyone – from recording studios to business planning, from training in bricklaying and crop-growing to computer literacy and marketing.

Besides financial assistance provided by individuals like Gondo, the Trust is funded through board members’ monthly subscriptions.

The Dzivarasekwa community, like others elsewhere, reels under acute job shortages and struggles to make ends meet.

An estimated 85 per cent of Zimbabwe’s workers are in the informal sector, while the majority of the country's youth have never been formally employed.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *