First Lady launches sewing club in UMP. . . programme to be replicated across Zim Women in cotton farming being taught how to make various types of garments with sewing machines sourced by Angel of Hope Foundation patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa from international consortium of cotton buyers. - Picture: Victor Maphosa

Victor Maphosa

Mash East Correspondent

WOMEN in the Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe district of Mashonaland East Province, have saluted First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa for her passion and dedication towards women empowerment issues and rural transformation through the various projects she is undertaking across the country.

Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady donated sewing machines to women involved in cotton farming from the UMP district to start a sewing club.

She then launched the sewing pilot project at a function held at Nhakiwe Vocational Centre.

Each one of them will receive free training in sewing, courtesy of the First Lady.

The programme will be replicated across Zimbabwe.

The First Lady, as the patron of women cotton growers, sourced the sewing machines for the women from a consortium of international partners.

Amai Mnangagwa engaged the partners through their local representative Mr Maxwell Chad, and as a mother, humbly asked them to find ways to assist the women cotton growers countrywide.

This was after the women cried foul over low returns and pleaded with Dr Mnangagwa to initiate projects for them so that they remain occupied off season and economically empower themselves.

The international consortium took heed of the First Lady’s plea and donated sewing machines to her for onward distribution to the women farmers countrywide.

They pledged to assist the hard-working First Lady to fulfil her vision.

Represented by Ms Locardia Magobeya from her office, the First Lady urged women to work hard to transform their livelihoods.

Some of the sewing machines which were sourced by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa from international consortium of cotton buyers for the benefit of women in cotton farming

“I always travel across the country for various programmes which are meant to empower every woman. One objective of Angel of Hope Foundation is to empower women so that they can prosper,” said Dr Mnangagwa.

“So, today, we are in Mashonaland East Province to fulfil that objective to women who are into cotton farming. We gave them sewing machines and also to launch the Uzumba Sewing Club so that they can have a project to do whenever they are not in the fields.

“Women are the backbone of every household; they are the ones that ensure there is enough food for the family. Therefore, this means you must work hard and transform your livelihoods.”

Dr Mnangagwa said the world is still battling the effects of Covid-19 and climate change, a development that calls on women to do more income generating projects to fend for their families.

“As you know, if we work hard on our land, our lives can be transformed. Let us work hard in unity as we plant more cotton and have bumper harvests from that. Unity of purpose is very essential for women; encourage each other and have one spirit, that of working hard for your families,” said the First Lady.

Once the UMP women start to earn money from the sewing programme, they should invest some of it in other projects like livestock production so they can earn more money regularly.

She encouraged the women to go and teach others the new skills they have acquired so that they can also earn some income and contribute to national development.

“I also encourage you to join the Pfumvudza programme. This is critical in that after harvesting your cotton, you can start preparing your land for Pfumvudza.

“If you religiously adhere to all Pfumvudza guidelines, you are guaranteed a bumper harvest. We all have seen that Pfumvudza is a successful programme and many families have recorded bumper harvests.

“Now, through these machines, you have another way of making a lot of money through sewing. This is a good development for women that will help you earn a good living. I expect to see your living standards being transformed because everything that you need for that is there,” said Dr Mnangagwa.

Members of the Uzumba Sewing Club praised the First Lady for the donation and vowed to work hard and use the skills they got to transform their lives.

“I am happy and thankful to the First Lady for this donation. Tinokutendai Amai. We are learning a lot and benefiting a lot from you.

“We are going to work hard and surely transform our lives and those of our families,” said Mrs Yanai Gotora.

Mrs Pedzisai Nhende weighed in saying: “I am here getting some skills, thanks to Amai Mnangagwa. I want to thank you for this. You are always encouraging us to work hard for our families and we will do exactly that.

“I will work hard and get some money to send my children to school. So I thank the First Lady for this. We will always remember this gesture from her and use all the skills productively.”

Another beneficiary, Mrs Mary Chimbwanda, saluted Dr Mnangagwa for the sewing programme and all other programmes she has rolled out for women, especially in the rural areas.

“I give all respect to the First Lady for this. Ever since she started visiting UMP, we are left with a lot of knowledge which is helpful to us as women.

“We are grateful. We are now empowered with skills, which we will use for our own benefit.”

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