NIMOY GERRY is a mechanic and Cluster member from Chisekesi in southern Zambia. This is his brief background to the town and the role that his Cluster is starting to play there. There are few opportunities for young people here. It’s a town of 2000 people, but there’s no jobs and no industry. We believe a Cluster is the answer. Gambling is a problem here. There were five guys in the town who used to play cards all day. We started a Cluster mechanics project, and now those five guys have been trained and work with me as mechanics. When I go away I can leave them in charge of my business! This makes me proud. Our ambition is to see everyone in town being productive. We've trained some young people to care for chickens and sell the meat and eggs at local markets. We’re also planning to open a carpentry school. If things go well, a pre-school too. This is my hope: to see every small child going to a school. This is the first time I’ve known an organisation come here with truly good intentions. I first heard about Arukah Network in 2017 when I came to your international forum at nearby Chabbs Cluster. As I listened I began to think that a Cluster might be a way to bring people together in our town, to share stories, learn from each other and achieve goals together. But because it’s a new idea, it's sometimes hard for people to understand the Cluster idea. But we're making progress. As the climate has changed, our crops are suffering. We are in a drought and the maize crops have been failing. The government has been storing maize for times like this, but they’re now selling it back to us at inflated prices. That’s why our Cluster has been importing rice from Tanzania: we're selling at local markets for a fair price, to keep people fed. Our Cluster is diverse. We are twenty-four people representing five parts of the town and surrounding area. We have a government health technician, gardeners, the chief policeman, a retired government adviser and me, a mechanic.
Learn more about Chisekesi Cluster on their web page here.