The Ministry of Community Development working in close collaboration with the Zambian Women With Skills – ZWWS Organisation have launched the Sustainable Women’s Economic Empowerment Project targeted at 20 women with hearing impairments.
The Minister of Community Development Doreen Mwamba stated in a speech read on her behalf by the Ministry`s Permanent Secretary Angela Chomba Kawandami at the launch of the Sustainable Women’s Economic Empowerment Project (SWEEP) to be implemented by Zambian Women With Skills (ZWWS) Organisation that the government is committed in addressing issues that affect vulnerable girls and women, particularly women with disabilities.
Ms Mwamba noted that poverty is one of the biggest challenges faced by women with disabilities, and it is for this reason that the New Dawn Government in collaboration with other stakeholders is promoting empowerment initiatives such as this skills development among women with disabilities.
“I am confident that this project will contribute to the government’s efforts in the provision of basic social protection services through vocational skills empowerment for women,” Ms Mwamba mentioned
Meanwhile, ZWWS Founder Board Chairperson Bwalya Maketo noted that the participants of the project would not only be empowered with skills, but also business start-up packages.
Ms Maketo commended the government for creating an enabling environment for Public Private Partnership in provision of quality such as the skills development for women.
The Sustainable Women’s Economic Empowerment Project was funded by the US State Department, targeted training 20 women with hearing impairments drawn from different vulnerable communities across Lusaka with empowerment skills like tailoring and catering among others.
Through the generous support and funding of the US Government, the women were privileged to launch the Sustainable Women’s Economic Empowerment Project (SWEEP) “Inclusion Edition,” which is a community initiative that seeks to help contribute to the rebalancing of the existing social and economic hierarchies in different communities in Zambia, through vocational skills empowerment for women.
The project which was piloted in 2018 with trainees drawn from Lusaka’s Ngombe Compound, follows an implementation model that can be replicated in other underserved communities similar to the project pilot community.
The skills empowerment training offered through this project are therefore an attempt to catalyse business action for women’s empowerment, and deliver value for vocational business skills by developing high-impact women’s empowerment strategies, driving social and economic progress for women at both community and national levels.
And in this particular cohort, the intention is to empower 20 women (with speech and hearing impairments) with income generating skills (tailoring & catering) plus business start-up packages in the form of the necessary materials needed to set up a business in line with the skills acquired.
Additionally, all the 20 women that will undergo this training, have been selected from different communities within Lusaka through our partner organisation, the Zambia National Association of the Deaf (ZNAD) which is already on the ground within the community, actively working with the demographic in question.
The combination of the skills acquired, plus the start-up material, will help the women set up small businesses and in turn, effectively contribute to the overall economic cycle of their communities.
The organisation expressed gratitude to the New Dawn Government under the leadership of His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, for creating an enabling environment for Public Private Partnership in the provision of quality life skills for all Zambians especially the women, as demonstrated by the presence of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services during the launch of the project, who graced the event as the Guest of Honor.
The ZWWS Organisation has since congratulated the 20 women that have been selected to participate in this particular cohort, and wish them all the best beyond the Project cycle, as the organisation remains committed to changing the lives of Zambian women, “one woman at a time.”