Leadership for Livelihood in Zimbabwe

May 9, 2008

May 2007: Despite the deepening financial crisis, WLP Zimbabwe/Women’s Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM) held a National Training of Trainers Institute from May 1-5, 2007 for 26 women leaders from 13 different community based organizations, NGOs, and religious groups.

With inflation soaring past 4,500%, according to the government, and independent financial institutions estimating the actual rate to be double that amount, the situation in Zimbabwe is critical. About 80 percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed, by some estimates.

WSPM continues to hold leadership trainings, with a focus on helping women find solutions to the immediate problem of loss of livelihood.

Participants ranged in age from 19-56 years old. Most had graduated from high school or obtained university degrees in fields such as counseling, administration, social sciences, education, theology, journalism, economics, and law. The participants represented organizations that had participated in previous leadership training workshops.

A 44 year-old participant who works as a pastor for a local church in Harare informed the group that since birth he has never been able to interact with Muslims, mainly because he was afraid. After the Institute, he said, “I was very wrong for my understanding of Muslims. I now believe that there is a lot that as a Christian we share in common with Muslims. I have learned a great deal in this Institute as I was able to listen to other delegates’ views and now all prejudice is gone. I feel we are all bothers and sisters and I do not want to let belief differences separate us anymore. Please let’s work together toward building a better future and society that we may all be proud of,” he concluded.

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