The Bantwana Siyakha Model: Enhancing Economic Opportunities for Girls in Mozambique
In Mozambique, the Bantwana Initiative is building the capacity of local organizations to deliver a market-driven, holistic economic empowerment package to hundreds of girls and young women. Bantwana’s Siyakha Girls model engages young women as well as local businesses and potential employers in identifying entry-points into viable occupations — and uses gender sensitive approaches that prepare young women to enter the workforce.
Siyakha Girls is a comprehensive economic strengthening framework, initially designed and tested in Zimbabwe, for reaching vulnerable adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), ages 15 to 24. The model demonstrates how the right set of skills and supports—built on active engagement of AGYW, their families or partners, and their employers or business mentors—can yield impactful results even in highly informal or constrained economies.
Bantwana successfully piloted the Siyakha Girls Model in Chimoio, Manica province under the USAID Mozambique-funded Chenguetai Vana project between 2021 and 2022. Due to the success of the pilot and wide acceptance of the model, we’re supporting local, USAID-funded implementing partners to scale up the model across 33 districts.
Work that Empowers Women
Bantwana’s Siyakha Girls model is designed to strengthen the economic resilience of AGYW through financial literacy training, savings groups, vocational training, and mentored internships in high growth sectors, layered with social asset building and linkages to essential health and social services.
In Mozambique, Bantwana mapped and recruited over 72 local companies and artisans from diverse sectors to provide real life, professional internships to program participants. Bantwana further deployed employment linkages and entrepreneurship experts to facilitate the integration of AGYW into safe, accessible local employment opportunities.
Building Girls’ Resilience and Self-Assurance
Along with economic resilience, Bantwana’s Siyakha Girls accelerates the health and social well-being of AGYW. As part of Bantwana’s guide implementation approach, local staff supported implementing partners to enroll AGYW in and deliver core trainings – including foundational, life, and job skills, and financial asset building.
Bantwana also introduced financial access and inclusion enhancements to increase the percentage of girls participating in savings groups, using mobile banking, and developing business plans, while encouraging local companies and artisans to implement essential hygiene and safety policies like sexual harassment prevention.
Siyakha’s 8 Steps to Success
Bantwana’s Siyakha Girls model has eight key steps to facilitate participants’ retention in the program and set them up for sustainable livelihoods, combining their savings with start-up support. This graduated approach enables adolescent girls and young women to successfully transition to full-time employment or entrepreneurship.