An economically empowered family positively impacts the lives of children especially young girls. In line with this statement Child Aid Zimbabwe through its first line of strengthening the economy of the family trains ,supports and empowers each family to increase its income through establishing income generating projects IGPs.
Research shows that girls in poor families have a higher chance of dropping out of school and pushed into early and forced marriages. The opposite is true in that when families are equipped with skills to establish and manage their income generating projects young girls will have equal access to nutrition, health schooling opportunities
Families in the Child Aid projects organize themselves into Village Action Groups, that become the core of driving their IGPs that include nutrition gardens ,beekeeping, piggery, poultry, second hand clothing, sewing clubs and food outlets among other projects. Each Action Group consists of 30‐40 families who are organised together and meet every week for lessons and actions.
In the first half of 2018 Child Aid Zimbabwe achieved its aim of transforming families’ livelihoods so that they can be self-sufficient. The VAGs supported the revival of 33 group gardens soon after the rain season. A total of 3550 families were trained in thee importance of having nutrition gardens for dietary diversity. Families responded positively and revived their household gardens and made sure that they had a minimum of 5 crop varieties.The gardens have become source of income for families, such that they are able to meet their basic needs.
So far Eighteen income-generating projects in agriculture, aquaculture, indigenous chicken, rabbits and horticulture were established with much training support from AGRITEX. The 3550 families from Rushinga, Bindura and Shamva districts were food secure.
Child Aid conducted 50 lessons on improving income and established 40 internal saving and lending clubs which are localized financial systems. Money from savings clubs have been used by families to engage in various income generating projects such as poultry and piggery. As a result of the income generating activities and ISALs, improved the financial positions of the families making it easy to pay school fees and caring for their families.
The benefits of economically empowering families are go beyond their direct impact on girls alone. Once girls are empowered they will grow into women who will be in forefront of stopping the cycle of poverty