Community-Owned Shop for Sustainable Economic Development

17/06/2021

Gateway Fellows at the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) are campaigning to set up a community-owned enterprise to fight poverty in Epworth, Harare Province, Zimbabwe.

Epworth is one of the oldest and most expansive settlements in south-eastern Harare. Often called "the forgotten suburb", Epworth has become one of the largest unplanned residential settlements with a constant influx of residents swelling the population to +123 000. Epworth still has a semi-rural feel with basic service delivery deficits ranging from water, electricity and infrastructure.  

Helping those in need

After observing how much those around them were constantly struggling financially, the Epworth Gateway Fellows decided that a solution was needed and knew that the community had to work together to find that solution on its own.

Their vision involves co-creating and registering a cooperative, setting up a community-owned shop and using this as an economic pivoting point for the community.

Using the income from the shop as a community fund, they will look at the viable opportunities within the community, investing in community members' business ideas and venture, especially those that will bring essential skills and services to be available to the community.

"Being part and parcel of the economically marginalised of society, we are inspired to reclaim our sense of wealth by engaging in this community-owned shop project, including addressing food and nutrition security."

The Gateway Fellowship is an 18-month program by Gateway Zimbabwe. It involves five 5-day intensive modules to cultivate knowledge of social processes, inner work practices and nature observation, to be applied to social change and community engagement.

Their video proposal was created by the Gateway Fellows themselves, through engagement in the "Make it Grow" participatory video workshop series, which supported the development of video-making skills, project planning and proposal-making.

To donate to this specific project, please visit: Community-Owned Shop for Economic Development by Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress | GivenGain