Our April - June 2016 cycle of volunteers in Zimbabwe were the last cycle to work alongside partner organisation Diocese of Mutare Community Care Programme (DOMCCP) after four years. The team have complied a series of case studies demonstrating the impact the ICS programme has had in Mutasa.

The fourth ICS team in Mutasa held an event to give information to the community at Mt Jenya on the themes of farming, marketing and sustainable projects. The team also interviewed Mrs Gertrude Manzini about her income generating activities (IGAs) and her income savings and lending’s (ISAL) group. One of the long term outcomes of the team’s project is to improve the financial management of IGAs and utilisation of resources. This interview gave the ICS team a view, from a beneficiary’s perspective, on how far their project has gone to achieving this outcome. 

Gertrude has a welding IGA, which she uses to generate money to support her family. She keeps records and acknowledges that she now knows how to keep records properly due to the ICS project. She also now knows that she should not give people things on credit, as this can affect the stability of her projects and she can have trouble bringing in the money she needs for her projects and for herself. 

She also believes influences from the ICS project have greatly aided her ISAL group. Before her experience with ICS, she was contemplating leaving her ISAL group, but her experience has helped motivate her and in turn led to the strengthening of her ISAL group. She has been able to talk to her group about how to correctly manage the group. Her assembly now doesn’t have any problems; they are currently in credit, which would allow her to borrow money from the group if needed.

She finished the interview by thanking ICS for everything we have done, and wishes we could come back and give her more information on her projects. This interview shows great progress on the long term outcome of improving financial management of IGAs. If other beneficiaries have had as much impact on their IGAs and ISALs as Mrs Gertrude Manzini, then the programme and volunteers have come a very long way in a short space of time.

Compiled by ICS volunteer Harry Thomas (Team DOMCCP, April - June 2016 cycle)