Primrose Chikwedze is a project coordinator at the IT and telecoms company Alternative, one of our corporate partners. She is originally from Zimbabwe, and visited our Restless Development office in Harare to meet with our staff and learn more about our projects. 

I had wanted to visit Zimbabwe for a long time, but had hesitated as I was afraid it would be nothing like the Zimbabwe I had left behind. I kept postponing the visit, thinking maybe next year I will go. However when I was invited again by my family in 2015 I accepted, how could I refuse when we would be traveling during the rainy season in December, which is harvesting season for mangoes. I thought about both the cool weather I could enjoy, and the mangoes that reminded me of my childhood.

When I joined Alternative I also joined the charity committee. I believe that helping others can be done through the smallest things that we sometimes take for granted. When I found out that our charity partner was Restless Development I was excited to discover that they don’t use the traditional aid model, which creates dependence. Instead they use a youth-led model, training young people and using their energy and passion to make a difference in communities and countries.  

I was offered a great opportunity whilst in Zimbabwe to see first-hand the work Restless Development are doing, and it confirmed to me how important their work is. I came to understand that a lot of young girls are getting married at very early age due to the lack of jobs; they believe that if they have a husband to support them they will no longer be a burden to their families.  The shortage of jobs has spread across all sectors, as companies can’t afford to pay their staff. $100 dollars a month is considered a very good monthly wage for a domestic worker, but the average price to rent a 1 bedroom apartment is $359. Families struggle to make ends meet on these incomes and outgoings.

If young people are struggling to get jobs, providing them with training, support and the confidence to create their own businesses gives them hope for a brighter future. By setting up their own businesses, they will ensure they are not dependent on aid handouts. They will be able to self-sustain themselves, contributing to the economy and providing jobs in the future. Restless Development provides a range of projects from farming to gender equality, and I will continue to volunteer and support the work that they do.

 

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