Youth Aspire Development Trust Empowering Young Girls through Sewing Project


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At Youth Aspire Development Trust (YADT), a non-profit organization based in Zimbabwe, there is a strong focus on empowering young girls through their sewing project at the Youth Hub. This project not only teaches girls valuable skills in sewing but also provides a safe and supportive environment for them to learn and grow.
This publication had the opportunity to speak with some of the beneficiaries of this project, as well as YADT’s Director, Wesley Nyabaya, and Programs Manager, Panashe Banda, to gain a better understanding of how the project is impacting the lives of young girls in their community.
One of the first things that struck the news crew during the conversation was the passion and dedication of both Wesley and Panashe toward empowering young girls in their community. Wesley shared that the idea for the sewing project came about as a response to the high rates of unemployment among young girls in their community.
“We noticed that many young girls were dropping out of school due to financial constraints and lack of opportunities. We wanted to create a sustainable solution that would not only empower them with valuable skills but also help them generate income,” explained Wesley.
The sewing project operates out of YADT’s Youth Hub, which serves as a safe space for young people to learn and grow. The Hub also offers various programs and workshops focused on life skills and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) empowerment.
Panashe emphasized the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for these young girls to learn and thrive.
“Many of these girls come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have faced various challenges. At the Youth Hub, we provide them with mentorship, counseling, and support to help them overcome these challenges and become confident and independent individuals,” she said.
In an interview with some of the beneficiaries of the sewing project, it was evident that the project was making a significant impact on their lives.
One of the girls, 16-year-old Tariro, shared that she had dropped out of school due to financial constraints, but thanks to the sewing project, she was able to continue her education and support her family.
“I am now able to sew and sell my products, which has helped me earn money to pay for my school fees. I am also learning important life skills such as time management and financial management at the Youth Hub,” said Tariro with a smile.
Another beneficiary, 18-year-old Mercy, shared that the sewing project not only taught her a valuable skill but also gave her a sense of purpose and confidence.
“Before joining the project, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But now, I have discovered a passion for sewing and I am confident in my abilities. I am also grateful for the support and guidance I receive at the Youth Hub,” she said.
The impact of this project goes beyond just providing young girls with a skill and income. Through the life skills and SRHR workshops at the Youth Hub, these girls are also learning about their rights and how to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
Panashe shared that many of these girls come from communities where there is little to no education about sexual and reproductive health.
“Our workshops cover topics such as menstrual health, family planning, and gender-based violence. We want these girls to have the knowledge and tools to take control of their health and make informed choices,” she explained.
It was heartwarming to hear how the project is not only empowering young girls economically but also equipping them with important life skills and knowledge. It is clear that YADT’s Youth Hub is not just a place for learning how to sew, but also a space for personal growth and development.
A conversation with Wesley and Panashe provided evidence that their passion for empowering young girls went beyond just the sewing project. They shared their vision for expanding the Youth Hub to reach even more beneficiaries.