Youth empowerment initiative aims to transform Tsholotsho

18 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Youth empowerment initiative  aims to transform Tsholotsho

The Sunday News

Nothando Zondo, Sunday News Reporter

THE Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Vocational Training is rolling out a training programme to capacitate  youths in Tsholotsho District of Matabeleland North Province as a way of ensuring that they are equipped with entrepreneurial skills. 

In an interview, the ministry’s district head, Mr Bongilizwe Gumpo, said the initiative was meant to transform the lives of Tsholotsho youths through empowerment skills.

“The latest training programme which commenced on Friday, 16 February 2024, is taking place at Siphepha Centre in Ward Five. This initiative has made significant strides despite facing challenges such as the economic environment that has led to a decrease in learner enrollment. This year there has been a remarkable 100 percent increase in enrolment since last year and it is evident of the programme’s resilience and impact,” said Mr Gumpo. 

He said collaborating with partners such as Plan Zimbabwe, Dreams, Silveria House, and Amalima Loko, the ministry adopted a multi-sectoral approach to ensure the success of the initiative. 

Mr Gumpo said notably, Amalima Loko and Silveira House were funding the programme, with learners only required to contribute a nominal fee of US$40 for their food during the training.

 “The community’s response to the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive, resulting in a growing number of participants over the years. Many former learners have pursued careers as builders, both locally and in South Africa, a testament to the programme’s effectiveness.”

Mr Gumpo said the training programme offers certificate-level courses, comprising two weeks of theory and a two-month attachment period.  He said courses in building, phone repair, welding, cosmetology, and carpentry were being facilitated by trainers from Silveira House, a civil society organisation that offers both soft and hard skills training programmes mainly to the poor in rural districts across the country.  Mr Gumpo said Siphepha High School and Mavela Secondary School serve as the venues for the courses, catering to learners from wards four, five, six , 13 and 22.

“This initiative aligns with the district’s commitment to the President’s Vision 2030 of fostering a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by empowering its youth.”

He said the programme’s focus was on providing technical courses and entrepreneurship, while aiming to cultivate a generation of young entrepreneurs rather than employees.

“We intend to empower the youths by rolling out technical and entrepreneurship courses. We want to have young people who are employers and not employees. The ministry’s unwavering dedication and the positive impact of such initiatives exemplify the potential for meaningful change through youth empowerment,” he said. 

Mr Gumpo said the transformation taking place in Tsholotsho served as a beacon of hope for the realisation of a prosperous and empowered society.

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