It is every little girl’s dream to make her father proud. But for Claris Chada, age 23 years, that hope was taken away in 2010 when her father died, leaving her and her five siblings with no breadwinner. As the economic situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated, Claris found herself engaged in risky sexual behavior, partly motivated by a need for money to cover her basic needs but also by a longing to move away from home and not be a burden to her mother. With limited economic options and no access to capital for any significant endeavors, Claris begun petty trading, selling boiled eggs, sweets and crisps—anything that could help her support her family. She even resorted to working illegally as a till operator outside of the country.
Claris’ father had been a promising mechanic before he died and so when she saw the Siyakha Girls advertisement for young women interested in employment in auto mechanics (or textile manufacturing or leather working), she was thrilled to have the chance to follow in her father’s footsteps and carry on his legacy. After undergoing ASPIRES foundational training on life skills, job preparation, and financial literacy, Claris and 47 other participants completed eight to nine weeks of vocational training following an interactive, practical, hands-on curriculum to equip them withthe skills needed to enter their industry of interest.
To learn more about Claris, read our blog.