Makomborero Zimbabwe is excited to finally share the projects that will be sponsored by the Mutsidzira Community Grant in 2021.
Mutsidzira is an annual community grant that invites past Makomborero students to apply for financial help in order to fund their proposed projects. The main aim of this grant is to invest into and revive communities. One of the top requirements is that the project must operate from and benefit the area where the applicant lives, involving as much of the community as possible.
2021 is particularly special for Mutsidzira as it is the launch year of the project. The application process began in 2020 with eight projects submitted for the grant. At the planning stages of this grant, we had visions of our judges sitting in a room somewhere and interviewing the applicants Dragons’ Den style (just kidding!); but whatever the team envisioned, we did not see Covid-19 coming and we did not bargain for having to interview online.
As we drew to the end of 2020, Makomborero Zimbabwe had two choices, either to put Mutsidzira on hold or to find means of carrying on and making things work. We chose the latter. Our judges had a long day of interviewing via Whatsapp calls which was challenging but worked out in the end. There was a lot of thought and work put into each of the eight projects and judges did not have an easy time selecting the top three projects.
We are very excited to be able to share a little bit about the winning projects and introduce to you the grant recipients.
Rutendo Sibanda – Winner USD$500 grant
Project – Million Drips Care
Community – Dzivarasekwa
This amazing young man has strong and heart-felt views on the issue of poverty. In his project proposal, he talks about how poverty teaches people to adapt to things of a lower standard but points out that hygiene, especially menstrual hygiene, cannot be compromised. He has a heart to remedy the reality of poverty robbing young girls of the basic right to sanitary wear. Rutendo says, ‘My project will attempt to address this issue by introducing reusable sanitary materials, something which has become more common in the modern world but still less accessible to those in the ‘lower class’.’ But where does Rutendo, a young male, find his inspiration for such a project? An embarrassing incident that happened to his sister seven years ago which led to his sister being ridiculed and getting called names. ‘Had she [my sister] somehow lost track of her cycle? The answer is no. She was very much aware of her menstrual days but just didn’t have the proper sanitary materials to combat her flow. I had overheard my mom instructing her to “improvise with a sock,” as she had no money to buy her sanitary pads. I have no doubt that right now, as you’re reading this, there is another girl or woman within my community stuck in the same situation. I have always dreamt of playing a pivotal role in addressing this issue in my community and the Mutsidzira grant is an opportunity to make that dream a reality.’
Rutendo is currently studying Bachelors of Geometric Engineering and Surveying at the University of Zimbabwe. His two favourite places? His father’s plot in Kutama and Victoria Falls,
Congratulations Rutendo, what an amazing project!
Tinaye Hlomayi – Winner USD$400 grant
Project – Sunshine Brands Dishwashing Detergents
Community – Chitungwiza
Reading through Tinaye’s application, it is obvious that for this observant and thoughtful young man, fairness is a top priority. He says, ‘I have always had a passion for producing functional products that help cover a need within the community. Detergents have become some of the most sought after products in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. At current retail prices detergents are a steep requirement for the already impoverished community that I hail from where salaries barely exceed USD$40 per month. After doing research I realised that the low cost of producing detergent meant that I could embark on a project where I make my own detergents and sell them at a more affordable price in the community.’ Tinaye has a well thought out plan which he hopes if executed well, will result in this project becoming a self-sustaining projects that will continue to serve Chitungwiza well.
Tinaye is currently studying Forensic Science at the University of Zimbabwe. Two ways that Tinaye has given back to the community in the recent past? Teaching and coaching soccer which he enjoyed.
Well done Tinaye! You put a lot of hard work into this.
Sharon Kashiri and Nigel Mharapara – Winners USD$500 grant
Project -Youth Engagement and Entrepreneurship
Community – Budiriro
This wonderful tag team is passionate about the health of young people, both physically and mentally. Their project seeks to raise awareness regarding specific social issues amongst young people. Nigel and Sharon say, ‘By the end of the year we want to have youths that are better informed when it comes to issues of drug use and substance abuse as well as sexual reproductive health.’
Through a poultry project, Nigel and Sharon plan to raise funds for various events and awareness projects that will be based in Budiriro, an area where they feel there are high instances of drug abuse amongst young boys and cases of 1 in every 7 girls falling pregnant before age 18.
Sharon is currently in her 4th year of studying medicine at the University of Zimbabwe. Her two favourite things to do are travelling and eating chocolate. Nigel is in his final year of Business Studies and Computer Science. The two people he looks up to the most are Mark and Laura Albertyn for the academic and social transformation they provided him as a Makomborero student. Applause for such a rewarding collaboration Sharon and Nigel!
We wish these three amazing projects all the best! We will be sure to keep you updated on their progress. Mutsidzira – Our communities in our hands.