NIMOY GERRY is a mechanic in the small town of Chisekesi in southern Zambia. In this blog, he shares the story of how his Cluster began, and the impact it's started having in the town.
Where I live, young people don't have many opportunities in life.
Sometimes charities come here to try and help. They run a project, pay local people to help out, and then leave when the project ends. And after they leave, things return to normal. Nothing changes.
But three years ago, I attended an Arukah Network forum in Zambia. And over four days, I met people and heard stories that were different.
This was a global network of local people who supported each other to do great things where they live. They put relationships first. They celebrated local strengths. And they shared ideas, training & support. It was simple really.
As I listened, I began to picture what an Arukah Network 'Cluster' might look like in my town. And I saw this: local partnerships and enterprises that would help make Chisekesi a better place for young people.
Three years later, my neighbours and I are starting to make this a reality.
Together, we've run mechanics training for unemployed people (see above). We've helped teenagers rear and sell chickens. And following a recent drought, we've been feeding 400 schoolchildren each week (see below).
We still have a long way to go. We've just experienced a very bad drought, and food shortages are a problem. We face other challenges too.
But with the friendship, learning and support of the Cluster, and wider network, good things are starting to happen. And this is just the beginning.
Learn more about Chisekesi Cluster here.