We launched our vocational skills training programme in 2011. The aim is to help adolescents and young adults with HIV who are receiving treatment at Newlands Clinic by giving them prospects for their future. These patients do not have the financial means to learn a profession, and with the unemployment rate above 90% it is virtually impossible for them to find work.
The road to self-employment
The programme gives the 25 young patients the opportunity to train in areas such as painting, clothing and textile design and manufacturing, and baking. The courses began in April and last between three and six months. The participants are then given the basic equipment and receive support for a year in setting up their own business. Meanwhile, two patients with physical disabilities are to be given the equipment needed to run a small poultry farm and to sell second-hand clothes. The aim is for the course participants to be able to generate an income, so giving them a sense of hope and purpose looking to the future.
At total of around 130 young patients have completed the programme since 2011. You can find out what this means to them in our stories from Harare: