HANDCRAFT operators at the council-run Bulawayo Home Industries are experiencing an increase in the number of basket buyers from local and international markets, according to the latest council minutes.
Among the countries doing business with the Bulawayo Home Industries are; Spain, Denmark, Australia, South Africa and France.
“During the month of March 2018, an export order worth $4000 had been delivered while a sale of $2 900 was completed and collected and producers were paid $2500 for their labour,” reads the report.
Located in Mzilikazi suburb, the Bulawayo Home Industries project was founded in 1963 and registered in 1982 and has more than 100 members drawn from various parts of the City.
The project is part of measures by council to empower the less privileged women and youths with survival and hand craft skills.
In an update report to council for the period 1 January 2018 to 30 April 2018, Director of Housing and Community Services Mr Dictor Khumalo said some skills training programmes were conducted in the city to capacitate the handcrafters.
The programme covered basketry making where 108 participants from Emakhandeni, Entumbane and Njube suburbs participated. Detergents making training covered 28 participants from Cowdray Park, Thorngrove, Pelandaba and Mzilikazi suburbs. In mushroom growing Mr Khumalo said there were 21 participants from Thorngrove, Queens Park East, Sauerstown and Nkulumane. Vegetable drying and processing section covered 20 participants from Makokoba and Mzilikazi suburbs.
There were also 10 participants in hanging/movable gardens training from Njube and Lobengula suburbs. Entrepreneurship training involved five participants. The total number of beneficiaries from the above mentioned activities was 192, he said.
During the same period, council reported that children from King George School had visited the Bulawayo Home Industries Centre where they were taught how to weave.
“At the end of the session some of them had managed to finish their items inspite of their physical and mental conditions. This went a long way to show that BHI was indeed an integrative and community oriented training facility,” said the local authority.
The Bulawayo Home Industries has been crucial in supplying regional and international markets with basketry, floor rags, mohair scarves and hats.