The Adam Molai Foundation, a private non-profit organization (PVO) with a pan-African focus that seeks to improve community livelihoods, is launching a sewing project in Marondera. The aim of the project is to foster self-sufficient entrepreneurial income-generating projects that will benefit the underprivileged and vulnerable people that are part of their feeding scheme.
Through this initiative, the foundation will train its feeding program beneficiaries to become entrepreneurs. To generate significant income for them, the project will operate on a commercial scale in collaboration with other stakeholders. Local businesses and schools will be among those stakeholders.
The executive director of the Adam Molai Foundation, Nomagugu Matibiri, said that they were aware of the fact that there were some existing organisations that were offering the service. The initiative’s unique competitive edge is the reason for establishing it, which is to create jobs for vulnerable groups and to uplift communities.
“More than just sewing and supplying commercial quantities, the project will ensure that consumers feel more philanthropic when buying or dealing with this initiative,” she said.
The foundation will oversee the project, to be launched in August, with the help of the selected beneficiaries from the vulnerable groups that are already on their books.
“We are recruiting 50 able-bodied women who are beneficiaries of the Adam Molai Foundation feeding programme and forming a community cooperative to run the project,” Matibiri said.
The vision is to establish a company whose products we will sell not only in and around Marondera but also throughout Zimbabwe and beyond in the future.
The company will create jobs for Adam Molai Foundation beneficiaries and run profitably to support community initiatives. To help grow the business, the foundation plans to approach additional investors, such as regional and international textile mills.
The foundation is also partnering the National Training Institution for Rural Women that will assist with training and certification of the beneficiaries, arming them with much needed entrepreneurial skills.
The sewing project will begin by focusing on schools in the neighbourhood, in a phased rollout, before expanding to additional rural and urban schools in Marondera and the Mashonaland East Province.
The executive director added that the project will progressively expand its product range to manufacture corporate clothing, work suits, t-shirts, and maid uniforms aimed at both individuals and the commercial market.
The company will partner with the School Development Committees (SDC) on a profit sharing incentive on a commission basis for all uniforms sold to their respective schools. This will create a revenue stream for most of them, who are currently cash-strapped and will also leverage the fact that the company will employ some parents. Once this model has tangible benefits for the pilot schools, the other schools are expected to do the same.
“We are cognizant of the fact that there are several uniform shops, both large and small, in Zimbabwe but the fact that this project will transform the community and bring about a sustainable change in the lives of the beneficiaries of the sewing project and their families,” Matibiri said.
The executive director is appealing to like-minded organisations to support the initiative with sewing machines and any other form of assistance they are capable of giving in order to help kick start the project.
The initial 50 women to be employed on the project will be from the current 95 able-bodied beneficiaries of the foundation. The intended aim is to grow and replicate the model to cover other forms of business and interventions for the less-privileged in the communities.