FACT is implementing the PEPFAR/USAID-funded DREAMS SMART Girls program, an HIV prevention project targeting Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) from 10 -24 years old.
Under the DREAMS SMART girls program FACT in partnership with Bantwana Zimbabwe is offering comprehensive economic strengthening interventions through the Siyakha model to AGYW with economic vulnerabilities and at risk of HIV and sexual violence.
To ensure program sustainability and positive youth development, FACT Zimbabwe hosted market fair events combined with startup distributions. The fairs created linkages and provided access to markets, mentorship, and finance to project participants, as they interacted with key government stakeholders (MoYSAR, MoHCC, MoWCSMED, MOITD, MoPSE), the private sector (OK, Farmbiz, Croco Motors and Skyview Hotel), financial institutions (Stanbic, CBZ, Steward and Empower Bank) and community leadership.
Project participants marketed their vocational skills and products, setting themselves for product/service uptake or absorption into the formal employment arenas. The events brought together potential employers, buyers, suppliers, and financial institutions, allowing project participants to forge linkages and learn from actors within the value chains.
Notably, two of the AGYW (Netricia Nezandonyi and Tanaka Mapudzi) were absorbed by CROCO Motors for an internship during the market fair event in Mutare.
Since October 2022 to date, 644 AGYW received technical skills training through vocational training centres and local artisans in Mutare (280), Makoni (204) and Chipinge (211), with a cumulative of 971 AGYW having been supported since project inception in COP21.
The AGYW were assisted to select from trades identified to have high market growth potential through a youth-led labour market assessment conducted in 2022, including electrical installations, motor mechanics, auto electrics, metal fabrication, plumbing & tiling, dressing making, hospitality, cosmetology as preferred trades for the technical skills training.
Key Highlights for the Market Fair Event
- A total of 108 AGYW in various trades received starter pack kits across the three districts worth $100-00 per member as individuals or groups at the market fairs. The remainder of 551 AGYW are to receive their start-up kits in their districts, bringing the total value of start-up support in COP22 to US$ 65,900.00.
- To date 350 AGYW completed technical skills training and have since been placed on internships at various companies across Makoni, Mutare and Chipinge districts.
- The private sector greatly embraced the market fairs allowing them to share the services and products on offer for AGYW, these included employment, mentorship, financial services, business advisory services, output and input markets.