By Jill Mangachena
Chitungwiza Integrated Youth Survival Alternative Project (CHIYSAP) held a graduation ceremony on 24 February for 14 students who completed their courses hands skills training.
Fourteen students received their certificates in various courses which include welding and fabrication, computers, hairdressing, baking, dress making and business management.
CHIYSAP aims to economically emancipate young people and in particular young women to break the cycle of poverty in which they are entrenched.
“Our organisation aims to emancipate women so that they can take care of themselves and their families and this will go a long way in curbing domestic violence because economic unrest in families is one of the major causes of domestic violence. Our economy is not stable therefore we encourage women and the youth to learn livelihood skills. The certificate given to these girls and women today will help them to get recognition in the working industry,” said CHIYSAP Coordinator, Cresencia Tadzungaira.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mr Tafadzwa Masendeke, CHYSAP project manager bemoaned the organization’s lack of resources to provide seed or start-up funding to their graduates as they enter the real world of employment creation in a highly informalized economy.
“We would have very much wanted to give each student financial support to help in sustaining them as they enter the working industry after they graduate but we are constrained by the economic crisis which is facing the country and the global economy,” said Tafadzwa Masendeke.
Masendeke said that their organisation hopes to reach and enroll a larger number of students and promote their financial independence through hands on life skills.
“Our aim to promote financial independence of young people so that they will be able to support themselves and their families in this harsh economic environment. Everyone must lend a hand in curbing the current economic challenges,” Masendeke added.
According to Masendeke CHYSAP has so much to do and much more to achieve but lacks the necessary funds.
Masendeke said: “Our equipment is limited and at times we have nothing at all. We just happy with what we are achieving for we are at least reaching some youths and equipping them with skills to get employed or start their own thing.”
A student who graduated with a certificate in Computers, Tariro Munaro, said: “I am very happy today that I acquired this certificate, I now feel like a whole being because I can now produce my certificate when it is needed. I am very grateful to CHYSAP for the work they are doing in our community”.
“However this journey was not without challenges as they faced many challenges such as shortage of resources and economic constraints.
CHYSAP offers hands on skills to youths empowering them to be independent citizens and was formed in 1992 and managed to sustain this harsh economic environment albeit at a small scale than it used to do. The idea was precipitated by the Zimbabwean economic crisis of the early 1990s which witnessed the commencement of downsizing and retrenchments in Zimbabwe.