The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Organisation for Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) in partnership with DanChurchAid has trained more than 600 people in detergent making as part of efforts to increase their income, curbing the Covid-19 pandemic and improve livelihoods.
The project which was funded to the tune of US$5 000 saw participants drawn from Mpopoma, Magwegwe, Mzilikazi and Cowdray Park being equipped with knowledge on how to make detergents such as dish washing liquid, toilet cleaners, hair, car and bath shampoo, pine gel, bleach, sanitisers, mosquito repellent, petroleum jelly as well as floor polish.
In an interview, ORAP chief executive officer Mrs Mvuselelo Huni said the 610 were drawn from the 815 in the income savings and lending (ISALs).
“We are training participants in savings and lending to enable them to be financially literate, have access to finance to start up or grow the enterprises and also as a means of building social capital in urban communities.
“We would like to see participants responding to Covid-19 and curbing the disease,” said Mrs Huni.
She said the training across the three wards were conducted concurrently with facilitation from the Ministry of Women Affairs and participants were taken through various chemicals used, their reactions and how they should be mixed and handled.
Mrs Huni said: “From the theory lesson, participants then had the opportunity during the practical sessions to mix and produce various detergents. Participants were so much engaged in the training and groups were formed.”
She also noted that another project to the tune of US$5 000 was carried out in the same suburbs with 100 participants benefiting.
“Trainings in sewing and tailoring began on a slow pace due to low attendance. However, this did not damper both facilitators and participants as trainings were well engaging and participatory,” said Mrs Huni.
She said although sewing and tailoring is traditionally a female dominated field, men also participated both during the theory and practical sessions.
Mrs Huni highlighted that the training content comprised aspects such as components of a sewing machine and sewing machine accessories, types of materials and sewing and tailoring tools.
With the training being concluded with a practical session where participants threaded a sewing machine and cut and sewed face masks.
She said for the project to be a success, the organisation bought 14 domestic and industrial sewing machines for the purpose of the training sessions.
Participants at both programmes were between the ages of 18 to 66 plus.
Also they were carried out as part of the organisation’s efforts to encourage youth participation and deter them from negative coping strategies.
Meanwhile, Mrs Huni said her organisation has secured a permit for the drilling of four boreholes in Old Magwegwe, Cowdry Park, Nkulumane 12 and Pumula and the actual drilling has begun in the selected sites.
ORAP was founded by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni in 1981.
It envisions empowered grassroots communities free of hunger and poverty, where the disadvantaged communities of women, men and youth should draw up their own plans and uplift themselves relying mainly on their own intellect and available resources.
DanChurchAid (DCA) is a Danish faith-based civil society organisation. Founded in 1922 by representatives of the Danish Evangelical Church-a key DanChurchAid constituency.
It supports the needy and poorest of the world in their struggle for a dignified and better life and helps those who are vulnerable and whose lives are threatened by different socio-economic factors.