ulawayo youths are grateful for the assistance being rendered to them through a project dubbed Strengthening The Livelihoods for Urban Youths (STELLAR). STELLAR is borne out of a consortium of four partners, which are Youth Innovation for Transformation Trust, Vendors Initiative for Socio – economic Transformation, Centre for Innovation and Technology and Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association.
Speaking on Skyz Metro FM, Kwanele Moyo, Information and Communications Officer at Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) said STELLAR is a project that offers opportunities for young informal traders to interact and share ideas on how best they can grow their businesses.
“The project also seeks to capacitate young informal traders with important information on advocacy and participation in public policy. This initiative dovetails with a survey that revealed the deep-seated apathy among young people when it comes to participating in public issues and discourses due to lack of knowledge, interest, ignorance and exclusion,” she said.
Moyo also stressed that the project seeks to build up and bolster democracy as well as promoting the civil rights of young informal traders apropos of the Government’s reaction to the pandemic.
“STELLAR is a project which aims at strengthening the democratic space and human rights of young informal traders in Zimbabwe in the context of the Government’s response to Covid 19,” Moyo said.
She further highlighted that STELLAR is in the business of helping youths grow their businesses via virtual platforms.
“We train them on internal savings and lending schemes where we encourage them to form clubs or groups in which they can help each other save money to boost their businesses,” said Moyo.
Speaking on the same platform, Sukoluhle Mhlanga, a young informal trader chronicled how the pandemic had adversely affected her business before enlisting the much needed assistance from the STELLAR project which kept her business afloat.
Another young informal trader, Tinashe Gwena concurred with Moyo and also asserted that being part of the STELLAR project comes with countless benefits.
“STELLAR project is a group of champions, if l may say. The project equips us with necessary skills for business. For instance, l used to physically run my business but when the STELLAR project came through, l was taught e-commerce, which involves the selling of goods online,” said an excited Gwena.
“STELLAR is like a shoulder to lean on during this turbulent pandemic period. We rely heavily on the project and we really appreciate it because it has helped us a lot,” said Belinda Dube, another informal trader.
According to Moyo, the STELLAR project currently has 480 young informal traders on board. These are drawn from various organizations and churches in Bulawayo and Harare. She said the target is to reach 600 youths.
Source: Community Podium