Last month CITW Zambezi hosted two camps as part of our Youth Environmental Stewardship programme that we run for students in secondary schools around Zimbabwe. Our YES programmes focus on environmental education and life-skills development. With this, the main focus of these two camps was to empower these young women by developing their entrepreneurial skills.
CITW Zambezi firmly believes that empowered women, empower women. With the proper guidance and exposure, we believe that these young ladies will one day be able to create businesses on their own to become self-sufficient and independent young women.
Each camp consisted of 15 promising female students who were chosen through our YES clubs. All the students spent four days in Victoria Falls and took part in and were exposed to many different activities such as visits to the magnificent Victoria Falls and game drives around Zambezi National Park. Although these activities are enjoyable and entertaining on their own, each one was done to expose the ladies to different aspects of entrepreneurship and show them what can be achieved through hard work.
One of the biggest lessons that ran throughout the camp focused on fashion. The ladies were all given a lesson on budgeting, savings, and keeping track of their expenses if they ever were to open a business. The girls were then given a set amount of money with which they had to bargain for and buy fabric at the local market; the girls were taught to think about their purchases before making them, and consider the price and quality of the material they were buying.
Once purchased, each young lady was able to design a dress to their liking, with all the materials they were able to buy. On the last evening of the camp, all the students were presented with their dresses to wear that night at the formal gala dinner. It was truly incredible to hear all the girls talking about how they had created these dresses from scratch.
More importantly, we were pleased to listen to them discuss amongst themselves how some of them would have bought a better quality material if they were to do it again, or would have tried to get two different types of fabric for the price of one – all-important thoughts and skills to develop if they were to ever start a dressmaking business of their own one day!