Apoola Na Angor have been working in partnership with Tools for Self Reliance for several years. Founded in January of 2003 ANA currently serves over 2,000 people in Bukedea District. They carry out three major programs: Community-Based Health Care, Household Agricultural Support, and Community Continuing Education. These are implemented at a grassroots level in the community throughout 5 sub-counties of Bukedea district with major focus on alleviating poverty through empowerment to improve on sanitation and hygiene, household food security, and enhancing education opportunities for mothers and youths in vocational training and/or other formal and non-formal education. ANA have a purpose built training centre, which also provides accommodation for students who need it.
ANA wanted to increase the number of trainees they were able to work with, and worked with Tools for Self Reliance to develop a project targeting young women aged 15-35, particularly those who are living with HIV / AIDS or been widowed as a result of their husbands being affected; young mothers; and women who had limited education. ANA carried out consultation with local groups, and trained 88 people from these groups in tailoring, entrepreneurship, and financial management, business ethics, marketing and creativity, and negotiation and communication. Basic literacy training was provided to 38 participants to enable them to fully take part in the programme, as their level of education was proving a challenge.
All 88 trainees who completed the course passed the National Tailoring examinations, and were equipped with the practical and business skills needed to set up their own groups. They also had raised self esteem and confidence, and on an evaluation visit, all reported an increase in their income – this extra money was being used to improve the quality and quantity of food they could purchase, meet the cost of medical treatment for their families, and pay for school expenses.
In five years time, with my farming and tailoring, I will be a powerful business woman
Blessings Tailoring Group, Zambia