Zimbabwe has been under serious economic hardships and hyperinflation for over a decade, reaching 80 million percent month-to-month at the height of it in 2008. This has led to the collapse of many industries and rendered the Zimbabwe currency useless. The country is now recovering from this economic catastrophe and is ripe for investments.
Recently Dr. Sylivia Juta, SowHope’s new Program Director, took a team to Zimbabwe, her native country, where they had an opportunity to meet with leaders of six groups working with poor rural and urban women. SowHope was impressed with each leader and encouraged them to submit project applications (which were all funded in June).
Two leaders stood out from the trip, Mrs. Deke & Tendai. Mrs. Deke leads a group of 200 entrepreneurs who meet weekly to share ideas and offer fellowship. She spoke of the great cultural shift since 2008. The majority of men lost their jobs, and women have now taken the mantle of supporting and providing for their families. She went on to say that women are working harder and need training and encouragement so that they can take up this new responsibility.
Tendai used to work for the government as an agricultural extension worker. When she saw how rural women were suffering, she decided to quit her job and started organizing women into a cooperative so they have bargaining power when selling their produce. She introduced the idea of value addition by encouraging the women to process their produce so that they can make more profit. The cooperative is planning to build an agricultural business hub owned by women in one of the most remote rural areas in Zimbabwe. Tendai’s dream is to see rural women owning big businesses in Zimbabwe, and, with your donations, we can help Tendai achieve her dream.