The new group of smallholders that SEED's community development workers have been working alongside now have the confidence and composure to demonstrate to other would-be market gardeners the knowledge which they have acquired so far.
Contrary to the expectations of many in the community, many of the older members in the group mastered the concepts so well that they are doing much better than the younger members and are now serving as local role models. 81-year-old Esnath says, "Although I'm a widow and live alone, ever since I started the garden project, all my worries are gone because I can now provide for myself better than many young families."
Mr Gweshe was one of the participants of our first gardeners' carpentry training. He is now helping to train a new group of gardeners in carpentry and furniture-making skills. He recalls, "SEED came at just the right time, when everything seemed gloomy for me."
Previously, his search for paid work in the capital meant that he might not see his wife for seven months at a time and would sometimes spend two years or more without seeing his children or parents in the village. He now runs a full-time carpentry business and owns some heavy industrial machines, such as an electric wood saw. As a result, he is now renting three rooms with his wife and family. His children now go to a better school and he can afford to send some basic groceries to his parents in the village every month. As he says, "Every member of the family is happy!"
It is thanks to the incredible transformation that he has seen in his own life that Mr Gweshe now wants to invest something back into the community and is training others to improve their own situations. He is also going to a driving school in his spare time in order to gain yet another valued skill, should he ever need to seek alternative employment in Zimbabwe's uncertain future.
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