Household Economic Strengthening Interventions

Overview

These are strategies employed by Mavambo orphan Care to increase household economic resilience after careful assessment of household economic vulnerability and capacity. MOC aims to help households to access money to meet expected and unexpected households needs without having to sell their productive assets. A wide range of services are offered to caregivers and youths including, financial literacy, savings groups, value chain mentoring and skills development.

1.Community Apprenticeship: This is a youth skills development methodology where youths are attached to a skilled community artisan (master craftsperson) for on the job training on a specific skill. This service is offered to adolescents between 15 and 17 years of age who are out of school. This methodology also known as ‘sitting by the nerry’ takes a practical approach from day one as the master craftsperson train the youths while they are doing their day to day work. Each trainer works with a small groups of youths, not exceeding five.  In addition to skills training on a selected trade, youth also learn skills such as marketing and business management as the master craftsperson  runs his/her business. Youths are exposed to the environment around the selected trade, they are trained to deal with real problems and to solve challenges encountered in their trade. Training is done over a period not less than six months. This approach is able to cater for youths from disadvantaged backgrounds including school drop outs. Training is done within the communities which the artisans are working, this creates a flexible environment for the youth and their trainer and youths do not incur transport costs.  Post training, youths can either get into formal employment, start their own businesses or continue working with their trainer. There is potential also for youths to go through training at Vocational training institutions and hence trade testing, post training. Mavambo monitors the intervention both during the period of youth training and post training. Since 2019 MOC has used the community apprenticeship approach to train a total of 1176 (422M; 754F) youths. Currently 550 youths are under training in various trades including, welding, dressmaking, auto electrics, electronics, panel beating, fabric printing, mechanics, refrigeration, hairdressing, interior décor, baking and décor carpentry and leatherwork.

 2.Savings Groups: Mavambo Orphan Care is currently using two savings group methodologies, Internal Saving and Lending (ISAL) and Saving and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). Both methodologies are intended at improving money management at household level, among caregivers working with MOC. The target being youths and adults living under difficult conditions and the economically active poor. Caregivers mobilise their own savings which are used as capital for income generating activities and to meet basic and unexpected household needs. In both methodologies caregivers are trained, self-select into groups bound by a constitution and agree on the saving and lending terms. When they start saving, intensive monitoring takes place during the first three months with assistance from Area Facilitators (ISAL) and Field Agents (SILC). Frequency of monitoring and mentoring reduces as the group ages, towards the end of the capacity building cycle beyond which they become autonomous. In the ISAL methodology, groups also receive Selection Planning and Management of business (SPM) training after three to four months from the date of ISAL training. This training helps them to choose income generating activities and improves their business management skills.  Share out meetings take place at the end of a saving and lending cycle, where groups share out lump sums and in some cases they also share-out assets. In addition to meeting basic household needs, there is potential for reinvestment and asset building following share-out meetings. Currently MOC has a total of 216 active savings groups with 1877 (137M; 1740F) participants.

3.Value Chain: ‘Value chain’ refers to all activities and services that bring a product (service) from conception to use in a particular industry-from input supply to production, processing, wholesale and finally retail. It is so called because value is being added to the product or service at each step. The Value Chain Model brings together actors at each step and relationships between actors are key in this model. The model also allows the potential actors to study and understand the environment surrounding their preferred value chain. Potential actors may eventually decide to upgrade as chain actors, move into joint processing or marketing to add value to goods or services, build long term alliances with other chain actors centred on interests or mutual growth or build direct links with consumer markets. Mavambo employs this model to targets caregivers engaged in income generating activities so that they engage in profitable value chains in order to increase household income. To date, MOC has trained and mentored 2872 (29M, 2843F) caregivers. Through value chain mentoring, caregivers are assisted to;

  • Formalise businesses and make it easy for them to get support (work space, contracts, loans)
  • Organise into groups and enjoy sales discounts (bulk purchase, access training, meet production quotas, certification)
  • Upgrade their Value chain and access specialist training
  • Assess impact and report successes

4.Financial Literacy: Mavambo Orphan Care with support from Old Mutual Zimbabwe, trained a total of 44 Area Facilitators and Field Agents from Harare and Goromonzi districts. This was meant to build the capacity of the Area Facilitators and Field Agents to understand and cascade Financial Literacy to caregivers and children supported by Mavambo Orphan Care. With Financial Literacy training Mavambo aims to build the capacity of caregivers to provide for the basic needs of their children, by improving money management in their households. The training is based on OLD Mutual’s On the Money model. Participants learn key financial concepts from traits of the big five animals. Some of the lessons include the importance of saving, financial planning, budgeting and accounting for expenses, debt and financial risk management. To date MOC has cascaded training to 1930 (58M; 1872F) caregivers.