This trip has definitely highlighted the tremendous need to fund vocational training for vulnerable children in Zimbabwe. Yes, we know the statistics say the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is over 90% and informal employment is really what sustains many families but what does this really look like. During the past few days I have met quite a few people who are formally employed and supplementing their income with vocational skills, merely to survive. I have also met many who earn a living purely by a vocational skill or two.
The young girl who is studying at the University of Zimbabwe and braiding hair part-time for her day-to-day upkeep and to subsidize her young brother's school fees. The young man who wakes up at 4 o'clock in the morning and heads to Mbare market to sell fresh produce he and his wife produced on a small plot of land gifted on their wedding day. By 6:30am he has supplied market sellers with fresh produce for the day then he heads home, takes a shower, puts on a suit and heads to his corporate job by 8am. All because the salary he earns hardly meets the increasing cost of living. The lady who earns a living by making customs designed African attire for women in Zimbabwe. It is so inspiring to see the creativity and tenacity in Zimbabwe... the hope and desire to 'succeed'.
In addition to an economy in Zimbabwe that demands vocationally trained individuals I believe a child will garner greater benefit from the gift of education because it is a gift one can carry throughout life. It is a gift that not only benefits the individual but benefits their family and community at large. ZOF Africa strives to fund educational initiatives that equip vulnerable children thereby enabling them to sustain themselves. Education, specifically vocational education, is a great investments in a child’s life in Zimbabwe that will yield great results.
Market in Zimbabwe