Year Three In Review
As EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar has completed its third year of the project, we will reflect on the past year and all of the amazing successes the Zanzibar hub has had.
We have had 12 Canadian volunteers join our hub, 7 long-term and 5 short-term. These volunteers filled the roles of the Environmental Sustainability Officer, Business Advisor, Gender Advisor, Youth Participation Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Livelihoods Officer and five volunteers were apart of the Youth Leadership Team.
The Zanzibar hub had our first two local volunteers complete their 6-month placement and the hub brought on two new local volunteers in November and February for another six-month placement.
We had over 150 entrepreneurship participants and over 80 employability participants complete their training. Our training coordinator ran 19 tertiary trainings outside of the hub in communities and organizations, covering topics like financial fitness, personal development and an introduction to business planning.
EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar’s girls club elected four leaders and one representative per cohort, they received capacity training from the hubs Gender Advisor and held an all members meeting in January, 2018.
EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar’s alumni association elected six leaders, three male and three female students and two representatives per cohort were also elected, one male and one female. There was an all members meeting in February, 2018 and they are currently in the process of capacity building and strengthening.
The hub, in collaboration with the Canadian volunteers, offered numerous workshop trainings outside the cohort programming. These workshops covered: an introduction to the environment and sustainability, research and critical thinking, an introduction to gender, gender and human rights, emotional awareness, interview preparedness, business ideas and creative thinking and conflict resolution. Additional to these workshops, the volunteers began offering English club on Mondays and Tuesdays at lunch and computer club on Wednesdays and Thursdays at lunch. The carpentry teacher, Abdallah from our partner organization, the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) also facilitated workshops for EQWIP HUBs participants to learn how to construct garden chairs made from recycled tires. The chairs were then used to create a sitting area at the campus of the Vocational Training Center (VTC) and EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar.
The Youth Livelihoods Officer and the Environmental Sustainability Officer worked together to complete a local market analysis of the green economy in Zanzibar. From meeting with over 10 green businesses, organizations and training institutes, the two volunteers created a workshop and networking event about the green economy, green entrepreneurship and the potential opportunities in Zanzibar in this industry. Over 120 past participants and members of the businesses, organizations and training institutes who were interviewed attended the event!
Our business advisor organized several field trips with participants to visit our hub network member, the Zanzibar Technology and Business Incubator (ZTBI), where the participants learned about the programs and services they offer. ZTBI offers several month programs which encourages entrepreneurship especially with women and youth of Zanzibar, teaching core elements of business planning and access to office and production equipment.
The hub held two online digital exchange webinars between EQWIP HUBs Ghana and EQWIP HUBs Mwanza. Both discussions that took place covered topics of finding employment, being an entrepreneur and the challenges associated with finding work and starting a business. The participants also spoke about their everyday lives, their experience with EQWIP HUBs and discussed the similarities and differences between both hubs.
EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar also completed it’s first round of the Youth Innovation fund and awarded 11 businesses with funds to help them start their businesses. Recipients businesses were a restaurant, buying and selling seafood and fish, tailoring, two businesses which would raise and sell chickens, selling cold drinks/juice, selling bicycles, a potato wholesaler, a computer school, selling women and children’s clothing and collecting plastic waste and selling it to a recycler. The second round of applicants applied at the end of December, 2017 and eight businesses have been selected for the fund.
Finally, the gender policy to be implemented with EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar’s partner organization the Vocational Training Authority has been completed and once there has been approval from all acting participants, it will be implemented across EQWIP HUBs Zanzibar and the VTA departments. The communication strategy is also being finalized and will be implemented once it has been completed.
It has been such a successful year full of learning, engagement, innovative thinking, hard-work and a dedication to help the youth of Zanzibar succeed. The hub here in Zanzibar is going into the fourth year full of excitement and motivation to continue to uplift and encourage youth in Zanzibar!
I am a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa, where I majored in environmental studies. I am excited by new opportunities and adventures, passionate about the environment, sustainable development and driven to help people any way I can.