Local Alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative Regional Learning Centre Southern Africa (Yali RLC SA) are embarking on a sustainable development programme drive with a view to encourage the network's membership to champion well designed and impactful projects.
This initiative follows a highly subscribed Success Story workshop they held in July with United States organisation, Social Impact, where they identified and recognised young leaders within the development-oriented youth network whose stories of change are inspiring hope in communities.
Speaking to The Standard Style, Yali RLC SA Zimbabwe Chapter coordinator Takemore Mazuruse said they were seeking to celebrate and promote sustainable development work, which goes beyond self-aggrandisement.
"Yali is about young people becoming part of the solution through active participation in community, as well as national development," he said.
"For us, development goes beyond the individual and while we encourage young people to be as enterprising as possible, we also encourage them to give back to their communities through championing programmes and projects, which empower the marginalised and underprivileged."
The youth network's leader also revealed that it was for that reason that having identified some enterprising and resolute community builders during the July workshop, they were now going on site visits to have a better appreciation of how these programmes were bringing positive change.
"The July workshop was more about young leaders chronicling how the knowledge gained from the Yali training is adding value to their work and how in turn they are sharing that knowledge and empowering communities with their programmes and projects," he said.
"We have, therefore, picked on one such young leader, Kuziva Chatukuta, based in Murehwa, who is championing a dried foods initiative and in the process sharing his knowledge with members of the community."
Commenting on the planned visit and the work he is doing in Murehwa, Chatukuta Dried Foods founder and director Chatukuta said he was encouraged by the impact the Yali training had brought in his business and his general view on community development.
"I am a Yali Alumnius and though naturally enterprising, Chatukuta Dried Foods came as a result of the knowledge shared through the training we get and interaction with fellow young leaders who are doing wonders in their various spheres," he said.
"We have healthy and tried and tested ways of drying fruits and vegetables so that beyond their season, local farmers are able to derive value and make a living from these products. The company is mine, but I am also sharing the same knowledge with members of the community and the impact to date is encouraging."
Chatukuta, who is also running a successful poultry project in Murehwa, thanked Yali for bringing value to his work through tailor-made programmes and training.
"Yali gave me the cutting edge. I was doing my business as a survival skill, but I am now seeing the possibility of growing beyond my community and I am happy that I now have a market in areas like Harare, to name a few," he said.