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Alleviating poverty in Mazowe rural farm communities through inclusion, training & educational empowerment

We seek to marry prosperity & planet with adequate appreciation of the relationship between exclusion and poverty

Photo of Kudakwashe
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Mazowe rural district is well known for its agriculture. However, there were significant political and social changes that adversely changed this status quo. One such change was the Land Reform Program which inadvertently resulted in social exclusion particularly for former farm workers. Although tensions slowly died down over time between what were formerly migrant farm workers/farmers and resettled farmers, a closer look at the persistent social and economic challenges being faced in some of these communities seems to highlight inadequate social cohesion and togetherness in building and developing these communities. Many of the former farm workers don't have land whilst most resettled farmers do and despite this; opportunities for individual and communal betterment continue to elude these communities. Not just those without land but even those who have it continue to be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty despite intervention from government and other stakeholders. It is undeniable that climate change, lack adequate investment in terms of equipment and skills has crippled the agricultural sector in the country. However, lack of social cohesion resulting from historical events has also had an impact particularly when it comes to rural development in some farm communities. It is against this background that CareerAid seeks to develop a project that will pilot a community driven initiative that will bring together the resettled famers and part of the repossessed farm workers. It is hoped that through a comprehensive context specific life skills development and training communities will be able to come together for the greater good of their communities. The idea seeks to tap into the potential of all to contribute to food and environmental security and communal development. It proposes the following; Landless former farm workers and resettled farmers with land start combining skills and experience;Capacity building; climate change awareness and education.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The Zimbabwe Central Statistics Office (ZCSO) datasheets from the Zimbabwe Census Report mention that in Mazowe District the proportion of people living in the district is 233450 (2012) and 241840 (2016). Of these 97.2% reside in rural areas of the district. The district is made up of 35 wards; wards 1 – 35 are communal areas and wards 14 -35 except for wards 15, 17, 28 and 33 are farms. These people are the intended beneficiaries of this project. The project will target rural farm communities under wards 14-35. The project specifically target both males and female between the ages of 18 – 59 in specific farmcommunities namely Glengrey farm, Limbeck farm and Bahunia farm. The age group is significantly widened to allow for intergenerational interactions and potentially skills transfer and experience sharing.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

This project’s uniqueness lies in its acknowledgement of the existence some level of social exclusion in development efforts in rural farm communities. Land was repossessed but the untold consequences of those who were left with no means of livelihood. Also this project acknowledges that development efforts, be they mechanisation and inputs programs or even environment protection programs cannot take place if no attempt is made to create more open and just societies through active inclusion. It is also unique in that in its attempt to bridge prosperity and planet it will attempt a cross generational approach, and although it does acknowledge the need to empower youth it will do so by drawing on the experiences of the adult generations and also have the elder generation learn from them. Ultimately, the project will bring together those living on land they do not own and cannot use and those who own the land, young and old, towards creating prosperity and protecting their environment.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

CareerAid is a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO 36/16) established in 2015 with the primary goal of developing and nurturing individuals' skills thereby enhancing success in their endeavours.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

One of the team members is actively involved in improving access to education and health in the marginal rural farm communities of Mazowe. She began to notice how even efforts at fundraising for financial support for children in the area was only cosmetic at development. In tracing some of these challenges she discovered the lived realities of why, despite being surrounded by so much land and some level of skills and manpower the land was not supporting livelihoods.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Prosperity has been impacted by social and economic exclusion and planet by climate change. Climate change in particular remains a significant threat. The UNDP Zimbabwe Human Development Report (2017) on Climate Change rightly acknowledges that the impacts of climate change on the primarily agro-based Zimbabwean economy with 70% of the population living in rural areas and dependent on livelihoods such as arable farming is large. And this is the situation in the rural farm communities of Mazowe rural district. In this case in particular, prosperity which could be guaranteed by agriculture (main resource) is being compromised by climate change for instance changes in season, there is need for training and capacity building in seasonal farming.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Aside from the community members themselves drawn from selected farm communities (Glengrey, Limbeck and Bahunia) partnerships will also be strengthened with government, private sector and public sector institutions. Dialogues have been carried in the past with some community members and local authorities. The project idea has been inspired by these conversations. More dialogues need to be conducted and the very next step in carrying out the actual project would be the creation of a community steering community. Banks offering favourable capital and investment opportunities will be directly engaged. CareerAid will build upon existing relationships with banks and institutions we have worked with in the past. Active engagement with partners such as the Ministry of Environment, water and climate, technical colleges, local commercial farmers and other partners will also train and equip locals with relevant skills which will be key in securing prosperityindividually or as a group.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our community has a lot of land, it also has a large pool of people prepared to work and sustain their families. It also has a history and deep roots in agriculture. There are also a large portion of individuals, young and old, willing to start up income generating initiatives and develop their communities. There are also plenty of opportunities for stakeholder buy-in and involvement.

Geographic Focus

The rural farm communities of Mazowe rural district under Mashonaland Central of Zimbabwe.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Thirty months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Kudakwashe thank you for sharing your idea and work! I'd love to better understand how you propose to facilitate the combining of skills and experiences; Capacity building; climate change awareness and education for this group? What does the programing look like? What are the most important components to ensure success?

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Kudakwashe

OK we are looking at a target groups which needs to appreciate the adverse effects of climate change and help them harness education and skills required to get more harvest. To ensure farming success, education should be at the forefront as well as practical skills to compliment it.

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