Children in the Wilderness Adult Eco-Clubs – Empowering Women in the Zambezi Region
A recent series of workshops for members of CITW Adult Eco-Clubs saw over 130 ladies participate in a programme that aims to teach and empower women through skills and business awareness. The workshop was facilitated by Annie Johnson and Coleen Ryan, long-time supporters of CITW, from the El-Hefni Foundation.
Four workshops were held in Zimbabwe at Jabulani, St Mary’s, Ziga and Ngamo, and one in Zambia at Twabuka School for the members of the Adult Eco-Clubs. All of the group participants learned new sewing and creative skills for projects which have potential to sell. Using various patterns, locally sourced materials, and either sewing by hand, or by machine, the ladies created aprons, skirts, napkins, placemats, ornaments and bags, to be sold as merchandise.
Although the workshops were held in different locations, a common thread soon emerged from the group discussions. It was clear that all of the groups needed to establish themselves as an organisation as this would allow them to set up a site for them to meet regularly and store their tools and materials. It would also pave the way for them to register as a formal group, and open up opportunities to re ceive funding from the government, exclusively allocated to women’s groups.
The ladies were also taught how to turn their sewing skills into a small business. From budgeting, to calculating costs and profits, they learnt how they could turn their newly learnt sewing skills into an income generating business. At the conclusion of each workshop there was a discussion about the actual cost of making each product and how much they might sell for. After the workshops, CITW bought some of their products, allowing the ladies the opportunity to have money to reinvest in their group’s future needs.