FIRST LADY Auxillia Mnangagwa’s commitment to the empowerment and full integration of the previously marginalised communities in Mbire district into the mainstream economy continues, with youths and women, including spouses of chiefs and headmen from the area, being equipped with skills on empowerment projects.
Villagers from Kanyemba, Chidodo and Chikafa were in the capital yesterday where they are undergoing intensive training on detergent making, petroleum jelly, drinks and freezits making so that they would be able to earn a living and also go back and share their experiences with others.
A team from Angel of Hope Foundation, took them through the production processes as the First Lady presses ahead with her empowerment initiatives to uplift them. Prior to the mother of the nation’s intervention, people from the district lived in abject poverty waiting for hand-outs, while others performed menial tasks in nearby Mozambique and Zambia.
What left the beneficiaries of the training awestruck is the efficiency with which the First Lady has fulfilled her promise to the people of Mbire district, whom she visited barely a month ago and promised to assist them through various projects. Mrs Failess Matemba from the First Lady’s office said the First Lady was offering the training to the communities so that they become self-reliant.
“The aim of the First Lady is to emancipate women and youths countrywide,” she said.
“Amai visited all corners of the country noting the people’s problems.
“Recently she visited Kanyemba, Chidodo and Chikafa communities in Mbire district where she asked them the kind of projects they wanted and most of them pointed out detergents making project. Today she is doing her best to solve the problems with no one being left behind.
“She took the spouses of chiefs, headman, youths and other women from those areas to teach them to make soap, dish washing liquid, drinks, petroleum jelly and other products so that women become self-reliant and stop asking for money from men always.
“Those that have been trained will train their peers back home so that everyone is empowered.”
The beneficiaries hailed Amai Mnangagwa for her kind gesture. One of the beneficiaries, Mr Rivis Gumbochuma from Kanyemba, could not hide his joy.
“We have come to Harare to learn how to make detergents and other projects. When the First Lady came to Kanyemba, she asked about the projects we wished to venture into and we said we wanted to make soap and drinks. This will uplift us since we had no source of livelihood. She has never forsaken us and has come to us from the word go,” he said with a broad smile.
Mr Gumbochuma said he is surprised with the quick response by the First Lady to their problems.
“From the time she engaged us and started other projects for us like nutrition gardening and orchards, she has been remembering us year after year and strengthening us over projects,” he said.
“She is always encouraging us to work hard. She continue to offer us more out of love and the undying desire to empower us.”
Equally elated was Ms Claris Chirunga from Chidodo.
“I have come to learn projects like making petroleum jelly and drinks. Amai is uplifting our home area and this will help in fighting against domestic violence caused by financial problems. We thank her for her love so that we can send our children to school. Amai is doing wonders for us,” she said while ululating and dancing.
Ms Chirunga said since the First Lady engaged her community, they are experiencing the greatness of God.
“All the things she is teaching us have been fully embraced and they are uplifting our community,” she said.
“We want to thank her for her regular visits and may she continue working with us. All our problems, she is assisting us.”
Mrs Irene Kamambo, the wife of Chief Chitsungo said; “We have been taught to make different products and if it was not for Amai, we would not have acquired these skills which are going to help uplift our community.
“As a chief’s wife, I am going back home and sit down with all the women under our jurisdiction and impart the knowledge I acquired from Angel of Hope Foundation.
“We are grateful that our mother is not leaving anyone behind in her empowerment drive.”
The wife to Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira, Mrs Priscillia Charumbira, who came in solidarity with the people from Mbire was full of praises for the mother of the nation.
“We have been called here by our mother as always,” she said.
“She said she would never forsake us the chiefs’ wives as we stay in the communities with the people.
“We have been invited here as wives of chiefs around Harare so that we welcome other women from Mbire district and also learn too. We have faith that they will carry the knowledge and share with those in areas they have come from.
“We are grateful for the works done by the First Lady who never tires. She always thinks how best she can uplift the women of Zimbabwe. We did not know that we can also make, at home, the drinks that we always buy in shops, we have learnt a lot from this programme.”
The First Lady has shown great love for the Mbire community where she has helped ensure they send children to school, access health services and taught them many skills as a pathway to economic empowerment. Her commitment and love have shown the world what one can achieve with focus while transforming the previously marginalised community.