Girl child inspiration spurs women empowerment drive

30 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Girl child inspiration spurs women empowerment drive Lethukuthula Mandaza shows some of her products

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
DRIVEN by a strong desire to empower the girl child and support vulnerable women, Ms Lethukuthula Mandaza (37) of Nkulumane suburb in Bulawayo quit her well-paying job in Cape Town, South Africa to form a women empowerment organisation.

Through her organisation, Kamvalethu Trust Fund, Ms Mandaza has championed a progressive social transformation drive for women in Zimbabwe and several other countries in the Sadc region.

Kamvalethu Trust Fund, which was founded in 2017 and formally registered in 2018, specialises in training women in tapestry, handbag making, balloon décor, baking and making flavoured beverage concentrates.

So far, Ms Mandaza has trained more than 1 000 women across the Sadc region in tapestry.

 Kamvalethu Trust Fund

Tapestry is a form of textile art, which is traditionally hand-woven on a loom. It is largely used for hangings, curtains, and upholstery and is characterised by complicated pictorial designs.

Ms Mandaza said her organisation is targeting to train at least 2 000 women in Zimbabwe by the end of the year as part of her economic empowerment drive.

Government acknowledges gender equality and empowerment of women and girls and has been at the forefront in promoting a prosperous and inclusive growth, as envisaged in the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

“Naturally, I am passionate when it comes to issues to do with economic emancipation of women and a girl child, which is why I decided to form my organisation focusing on women empowerment,” she said.

“Personally, I believe that it’s high time that a girl child is taught how to build palaces instead of cleaning them.

“As Kamvalethu, we work with the girl child and vulnerable women to transform them into formidable forces within the global sphere.”

Ms Mandaza, a teacher by profession, quit her job at Pangea Online English Language Training School in Cape Town where she was an online English teacher and centre manager, to focus on empowering other women.

Lethukuthula Mandaza shows some of her products

“Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is a critical driver of sustainable development in all its dimensions. I was once a girl child with no one to support or help me and that is what inspired me to come up with this initiative to empower other women through offering life skills in tapestry, baking, handbag making, balloon décor and making flavoured beverage concentrates,” she said.

“As a woman who has been through it all in life, I know how it’s like to be in a hopeless situation. I want to make a difference in a girl child’s life, hence the birth of our organisation Kamvalethu Trust Fund.”

Through her efforts, Kamvalethu Trust Fund seeks to complement Government efforts in terms of strengthening various women empowerment programmes.

Lethukuthula Mandaza

Zimbabwe is a signatory to several regional and international treaties and declarations aimed at increasing women and youth’s participation in leadership and decision making.

This is further supported by the Constitution, which makes provisions for equal participation of women and youths in key decision-making positions.

Government has further enacted several laws to facilitate women’s empowerment, advance their rights and achieve gender equality and equity across all socio-political and economic sectors of society.

“We are complementing Government efforts in terms of reaching out to women and reducing unemployment rates in our country by equipping women with skills and capacitating them so that they also generate employment for themselves and others,” said Ms Mandaza.

“Our thrust is to create an environment where women can in turn create jobs for other women. This month, in Bulawayo alone, we trained at least 55 girls and women and our target is to train 2 000 women in Zimbabwe by December.”

Ms Mandaza said so far, they have offered different women empowerment training programmes in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.

Ms Mandaza quit her job in 2017 after completing her course in tapestry in South Africa.

“Soon after completing my training in tapestry, I started advertising my work in South Africa where I first conducted these training programmes. I then quit my job and returned home and established my organisation and that is how I introduced tapestry in Zimbabwe,” she said.

Mkoba Teachers’ College

Kamvalethu Trust Fund has partnered with other organisations in their training programmes.

“We train organisations, individuals and church groups. Our organisation has four women and I am the founder. So far, we have trained more than 1 000 women in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland,” said Ms Mandaza.

The youthful entrepreneur holds a diploma in teaching from Mkoba Teachers’ College in Gweru in the Midlands province.
— @mashnets

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