Household Economic Strengthening Interventions


Mavambo Orphan Care (MOC)implements Household Economic Strengthening to facilitate caregivers` and adolescents` ability to meet both expected and unexpected household expenses targeting households from which Mavambo Children Vana (MCV) programme participants are enrolled. To achieve household economic stability objectives, Mavambo Orphan Care implements the following interventions; Savings groups, Value Chain, Financial Literacy and Adolescents`, Skills Development, Value Chan Training and Financial Literacy Training. Training content has been adapted to suit virtual mode of delivery, in line with current Covid-19 conditions that do not allow physical gatherings. Where participants meet to receive services, social distancing, regular hand-washing and proper wearing of face masks are strictly followed, in line with WHO and Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines.

  1. Adolescents` Skills Development (Community Apprenticeship): 

MOC implements an adolescents` skills development targeting out-of school children aged 15-17 years. Enrolled adolescents are attached to identified successful crafts persons operating in the trades of the adolescents` choices. Adolescents undergo a hands-on training for a minimum period of six months. The training takes a very practical approach, emphasising more on the hard skills, soft skills and not much of theory.

Numbers of adolescents attached to a trainer range 1-5 depending on assessed capacity. In addition to skills training on a selected trade, youth also learn skills which include budgeting,  marketing, business management, keeping records as the master craftsperson  runs his/her business and assertiveness. Other mandatory training that trainers must receive include child safe-guarding, sexual harassment and basic computer skills. Upon completion of the training, adolescents have chances to the entrepreneurial route or formal employment. Others choose to further their knowledge and skills in the chosen trades by enrolling into formal learning institutions such as technical training colleges.

Community cadres are responsible for identifying eligible adolescents, trainers and do the preliminary assessments and shortlisting of possible trainers. During the training period, weekly visits to the trainers are conducted by community cadres who also inspect timesheets and comments on learning progress by both the trainers and adolescents. At the end of the training, the project provides some start-up kits to groups of adolescents who choose the entrepreneurial route.  Adolescents bind themselves by a constitution to working together and guide their operations by a project proposal and cash flow budgets.

Currently 400 adolescents (144 male; 256 female) are undergoing training, bringing the cumulative total to 1,858 adolescents since 2017. The adolescents are receiving skills development in various trades including, welding, dressmaking, auto electrics, electronics, panel beating, fabric printing, mechanics, refrigeration, hairdressing, interior décor, baking and décor carpentry and leatherwork.



  1. Savings Groups: 

Mavambo Orphan Care currently uses two savings group methodologies: Internal Saving and Lending (ISAL) and Saving and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). Both methodologies are intended at inculcating a saving culture and money management skills at household level, among caregivers working with MOC.  Savings groups promotion is targeted at economically active poor caregivers. Caregivers receive training, then pool their savings which are used as capital to fund household income generating activities. Trained caregivers self-select into groups bound by a constitution and agree on the saving and lending terms. Area Facilitators (ISAL) and Field Agents (SILC) who are volunteers, conduct intensive monitoring from day of group formation, whose frequency decrease towards the end of the 18-month capacity-building cycle, beyond which they become autonomous. In the ISAL methodology, groups also receive Selection Planning and Management (SPM)  of business training after three to four months from the date of ISAL training. SPM 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, a total of 2,516 caregivers are participating in savings groups out of a target of 3,106. The distribution is as follows: 1,728 caregivers in Harare; 126 for Chitungwiza  and 662 in Goromonzi.

  1. Value Chain Training and Participation: 

Value Chain’ refers to all activities and services that bring a product (service) from conception (or being an idea), to its final use (consumption) in a particular industry. Value Chain can be illustrated as – from input supply to production, processing, wholesale and finally retail. At each stage in the chain, value is being added to the product or service. The Value Chain Model brings together actors at each step, and relationships between actors are key in this model.

Value Chain allows the actors (those who handle the product) and supporters (those who create a conducive environment) to study and understand the environment surrounding their preferred value chain. Value Chain actors may decide to upgrade and come 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. In most cases, they build direct links with consumer markets to secure and maintain competitive advantage in the market. MOC employs this model on caregivers and adolescents engaged in income generating activities to enhance their competitiveness and profitability, therefore increasing household income.


To date, MOC has built the capacity of all her Economic Strengthening cadres in Value Chain training. Cadres have, in turn, trained 2872 caregivers (2,843F 29M) and mentored 1,674 caregivers participating in the following value chains

. Through value chain mentoring, caregivers are assisted to;

  • Formalise businesses and make it easy for them to get support (workspace, 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, and
  • Assess impact and report successes.


  1. Financial Literacy Training:

Mavambo Orphan Care with support from Old Mutual Zimbabwe, trained 83 Area Facilitators and Field Agents from Harare, Goromonzi and Chitungwiza in Financial Literacy training. The training is based on Old Mutual’s On the Money model, a financial education initiative created to teach all Africans how to best manage their finances. The programme is based on the behaviours of Africa’s Big Five animals. The unique characteristics of the Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo, as found in nature, have been distilled to teach participants how to manage their personal and family finances.


Participants learnt key financial concepts from traits of the big five animals, summarised as follows:

  • Lion

The lesson from the lion states that Eat first ahead of the pack by committing to an automatic, fixed savings plan. This will help change participants` spending patterns. Even if small amounts are saved, one will be developing a savings habit.

  • Leopard:

The leopard always aims for things it knows it can get. This teaches participants to Have a clear idea of their goals and what saving are saving for. It is vital to be realistic, achieved by recording clear and specific short-, medium- and long-term visions that are realistic, achievable and inspiring.

  • The elephant

The elephant never forgets. Knowledge is power. Human memory is a little unreliable. Proper record-keeping will help you understand your spending habits much better and how to change them to suit your income and future goals. Participants are trained to develop a family budget at least once a year. They must develop a plan to track difficult variable expenses using the elephant envelopes method.

  • Rhino:

The rhino’s weapon is to charge. When threatened, it looks for the biggest threat and charges, taking swift control of the situation. Getting out of debt can be one of life’s most difficult challenges, but it is also one of the most important things you can ever do. Learn from the rhino by charging down your debt as fast as you can. Plan and manage your debt. Identify the risk, pitfalls, limitations and unforeseen events that affect a budget. Explain the consequences of not having a good credit rating.

  • Buffalo

The mighty buffalo is deliberate and steady. It steadily grows and protects its herd, knowing its strength and future are in its numbers. The  lesson here is that it’s important to leave your investment for a long period of time,  so that it can grow. Choose investments or saving models that suit you and stick to them. The lesons teaches participants to understand why you have to invest to increase your assets, Understand the power of compound interest  and to list and explain the four financial options to save money.

With Financial Literacy training Mavambo aims to build the capacity of caregivers to provide for the basic needs of their household, by improving money management in their households. To date MOC has cascaded training to 2,688 caregivers (132M; 2,556F) in Goromonzi, Harare and Chitungwiza.