Provide vocational training for one girl
Adolescent girls living in poverty in rural Zaka, Zimbabwe, face many barriers to attending and completing school: cultural traditions that favour educating boys, no money for school fees or uniforms, illness and inadequate nutrition causing prolonged absences, and lack of preparation for adolescence. Those who are orphaned are most vulnerable and least likely to attend school. With few options, many young girls resort to early unwise marriages that only perpetuate the downward cycle of deprivation and poverty.
Educating girls produces lasting benefits that impact whole communities. Girls who attend school earn more, marry later, and have fewer, and healthier, children. They are also less likely to experience violence or to contract HIV/AIDS.
Bopoma Villages has partnered with Rafiki Girls Centre to provide vulnerable young women with vocational training. They can choose courses in hotel and catering, tailoring and dress design, hair and beauty, nursing aide, or nursery school teaching. In addition to acquiring practical skills to achieve financial independence, the girls develop self-confidence, overcome social isolation, and discover alternatives to marriage. The training provided by the Rafiki Girls Centre is being offered without cost. Bopoma Villages prepares the girls for the interview and selection process and for independent living and helps to fund their basic living expenses during the training. A social worker also provides ongoing practical assistance and emotional support through regular visits to ensure that the girls have the support they need to succeed. The annual cost of supporting one young woman is only $175 - a small investment that provides big returns for generations.