ZIMBABWE – National Foods (NatFoods), Zimbabwe’s largest food manufacturer has invested US$ 30,000 in a youth empowerment programme in western parts of the country.

Dubbed “A Life A Day,” (ALAD), the programme aims to empower youths in rural Zimbabwe to develop sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development in the poultry sector.

The empowerment programme entails an egg-layer project through its stock feeds division, implemented in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe.

Mike Lashbrook, the NatFoods group chief executive, said the business believed it had a responsibility to invest in future generations by providing skills and opportunities for youths to reach their full potential.

“A Life A Day programme is one way we are working to build a pipeline of talent and support entrepreneurship, which will benefit communities and the broader economy,” he said in a statement.

The first phase of the biannual programme has seen National Foods provide resources, including 1 000 laying hens for youth in the Ndiweni Community in Matabeleland South.

This will enable them to establish egg layer projects through a pass-on scheme that will be managed by the Community Foundation.

Participants will gain skills in poultry management, business development, and entrepreneurship.

So far, the National Foods Stockfeeds has supported over 1 500 youths in various communities in Matabeleland North and South since inception of the empowerment programme last year.

The programme has been instilling confidence and harnessing the skills required by youths to run their viable small enterprises profitably.

We are grateful to partners like National Foods who share our vision for empowering youths and communities through enterprise development and livelihood improvements,” said Sithabile Ndlovu, director of the ALAD programme at the Community Foundation for the Western Region of Zimbabwe.

We want to see youths taking charge of their development through deliberate actions that will transform their lives and livelihoods,” she added.

Ms Ndlovu noted that the partnership with National Foods will catalyse opportunities for self-employment, income generation, and poverty reduction for many families.

“A Life A Day is an innovative model for corporate social investment that can create real change and opportunities in people’s lives,” she said.

National Foods said by investing in youth and communities, the company was cultivating future prosperity and helping build a healthier, more sustainable Zimbabwe for all.

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