LifeStyle & Health

Youth urged to start businesses – Zimbabwe Situation


Source: Youth urged to start businesses – NewsDay Zimbabwe

BY VARAIDZO MUDEWAIRI
A YOUTH Advocates Zimbabwe (Yaz) member Nyasha Kumunda has urged fellow youths to shun drugs and embark on small businesses to cushion them from the country’s economic challenges.

Kumunda (19) told NewsDay that the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a lot of challenges for young people, most of whom are unemployed.

She said the pandemic caused a lot of conflicts in families and forced young girls to enter into relationships with older men which resulted in early pregnancies, while boys resorted to drugs.

“There is now a need to educate young people to desist from taking drugs and entering into relationships with older men to get money. Young people need to start businesses such as vending,” Kumunda said.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic there was an upsurge in domestic violence cases due to prolonged lockdowns. This affected the mental well-being of young people and pushed them into drugs and risky sexual behaviour.”

Yaz is now involved in online programmes to train young people on issues of sexual reproductive health rights, mental health and other empowerment initiatives.

Kumunda, a mother of a four-year-old child said she had actually given up on life, but was assisted to venture into business projects by Yaz.

‘’I joined Yaz after my aunt, who was concerned about my wellbeing as a young mother introduced me to them. I had  a child when I was young and one of the key lessons I got from the Yaz leadership training  was that having a child while still young does not mean the end of life. Young girls in my situation must venture into self-help projects,” she said.

Unicef 2021 data shows that COVID-19 greatly affected the lives of young people, especially girls who experienced physical and mental health problems, lack of access to education and poverty.

Unicef states that up to 10 million girls faced the risk of becoming child brides as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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