Feature: Eco-friendly skills center empowers vulnerable women in Zambia

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 13, 2021
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LUSAKA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- In the heart of Ng'ombe compound an informal settlement in Zambia's capital Lusaka, is Chikumbuso project, a skills training center that has helped hundreds of women and their families come out of the doldrums of poverty.

The project runs a number of financial empowerment programs for widows and young single mothers in Ng'ombe compound that aim at helping them to be economically secure.

Chikumbuso project provides training in handicraft making, tailoring and designing, and knitting among others. Women at the project also make a range of wearable ornaments.

For Joyce Musonga, a widow with eight children, Chikumbuso project served as a lifeguard for her at a time when she was at the brink of destitution.

"The project has not only ensured that my children stay in school but has also made me a breadwinner," said Musonga who specializes in knitting works.

She added that Chikumbuso project has helped turn her economic fortunes in that she has been able to acquire land and is now working on her house building project.

Another beneficiary Ednah Musonda, a single young parent, commended the project for giving young single mothers the opportunity to acquire income-generating skills, which according to her is crucial to countering social ills such as violence against women and prostitution.

Musonda who is now a prolific tailor asserts that being economically dependent on men renders women and girls susceptible to violence and that Chikumbuso project is providing a way out for many girls and young women in the compound.

Aside from being a skills training hub, Chikumbuso project is also well known for employing environmentally friendly approaches to development in that much of material used to make bags and doormats are from pre-used materials.

For instance, the range of bags and wine bottle holders are made from used plastic carrier bags while doormats are made from small pieces of cloth collected from the tailoring and designing hall.

The project not only trains vulnerable women in Ng'ombe compound in various income-generating activities but also helps to secure markets for their goods within Zambia and beyond.

"This is in an effort to help many of them that are just starting out to sell their goods. The project has managed to secure markets even in places like the USA," explained Getrude Banda, Chikumbuso project Manager. Enditem

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