Blessing with the latest crop of green beans
Blessing (’18), who is currently studying Computer Systems Engineering at Midlands State University, wants to change the life opportunities of women in Zimbabwe through agriculture. The Bindura Women social enterprise aims to assist women in difficult situations, many without basic qualifications, to provide an income for themselves and their families. The project provides agricultural equipment, seeds and support from an agronomist to help them set up an agricultural business. With 10 direct beneficiaries there are also indirect benefits for the wider Bindura community of about 15,000 as a whole, especially for girls and women.
“The project was conceived after witnessing that many women are suffering in my community as they are not able to take care of themselves and their children, because some are school dropouts or have difficult circumstances. Some live with abusive spouses, some are widowed and some are teen moms. They do not have the financial stability to provide for their children or improve their lives.
I wanted to help women with the right platform, to come and share experiences, and work towards something imaginable. With the right equipment and guidance, they can put in hard work and yield good results, which can help them be independent as well as improving their lives.” – Blessing
Preparing the fields
The focus on agriculture also contributes towards greater food security as well as financial stability. It is hoped that as the social enterprise grows others will be inspired to do something similar and learn from the initial project. Blessing ensured that the women were involved and active in the planning of the project.
Butternut squash was the first crop grown and successfully harvested. In January 2023, green beans were planted and it is hoped that there will be even better returns on this crop.
Working in the fields
“I am a mother of four. I joined Bindura Women project in July 2022. I wanted to assist my family financially as my husband died and I work part time jobs in house. Bindura women project has been a part time job for me as l could go to the fields monitor the crops and continue with my day-to-day cleaning jobs. I was able to learn through an agronomist basic farming. With these skills I have started my small vegetable bed and l sell vegetables to get money for my day to day expenses. Thank you, Pestalozzi Development Fund, for assisting our project that has grown to help us improve our lives.” – Magret