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Save the Children launches water and youth empowerment projects

Save the Children has launched water and youth empowerment projects in different districts of the country as part of the efforts to improve the access to clean water and empower young people through vocational skills training.

The two projects are funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation to the tune of US$250 000.

The water project seeks to benefit 15 000 people and provide the five health facilities, which also serve as a Covid-19 isolation centre, with clean and safe water for their operations, hygiene, and domestic use.

In a statement, Save the Children said that installation of solar-powered piped water systems, complete with water storage tanks at two referral hospitals in Maphisa District Hospital in Matobo and Siakobvu Rural Hospital in Kariba is already underway.

 “Three Rural Health Centres, Msampakaruma in Kariba, Chikwarakwara in Beitbridge, and Chinego in Binga District will also receive the same support.  The five health centres serve approximately 15,000 people in their catchment areas, a clear indication of their significance and the overall impact of the project,” read the statement.

Community members living next to the health facilities will also have access to the piped water. 

Meanwhile, the youth empowerment project termed ‘Tomorrow is Brighter’ is set to benefit 3 800 unemployed youths from Beitbridge and Matobo District.

“The young people will be empowered, through vocational skills training such as poultry production, building, welding, goat and sheep production, Farm Feed Formulation, and marketing. Upon completion, at least 400 young people will receive starter kits to start off their income-generating projects in groups,” said the statement.

They added that the project aims at diversifying income sources for rural households, creating employment, and reducing illegal and unsafe migration by youths to neighboring countries.

“The majority of youths in these two districts have limited opportunities for formal employment, while those who venture into farming are threatened by the harsh climatic conditions in the two districts. Save the Children is working with many local organizations which are providing skills training for young people.

The youth empowerment project complements another project by Save the Children in Beitbridge and Matobo districts, focusing on livestock and crop production. 

Save the Children’s Country Director in Zimbabwe, Heather Kerr said they are very excited to launch these two initiatives in Zimbabwe, where needs are vast and resources scarce.

“In view of the ongoing global pandemic, the water project will support the health staff and surrounding communities in the fight against COVID-19. But beyond COVID-19, health facilities require water for all operations especially in the delivery wards; they need water in the laundry, kitchen and for drinking by the staff, patients, and the community,” she said.

“Our “Tomorrow is Brighter” project will make a difference in equipping young people with life-changing skills and getting them ready to face the world with more hope and confidence,” said Herr.

In addition, the President of the Coca-Cola Foundation, Saadia Madsbjerg said the funding for these two programs in Zimbabwe is helping to strengthen the economic resilience of Zimbabwean youth while also helping to improve the overall quality of life through the provision of clean and safe water. 

“We are proud to support these programs because we recognize the difference they can make in these four communities,” said Madsbjerg. 

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