greenhouse girlsCheck this out! This lovely group of young women have just graduated from the Sandra Jones Centre Vocational Skills Training School (SJC).  Each one has had extensive training in greenhouse farming, as well as traditional farming. Six of the girls have been chosen to move on to an internship program with three of them working on at the Sandra Jones Centre and three are joining Providence Farm, where AFCA has established another greenhouse project. The internship program has proven to be a wonderful opportunity for the students to put their training into practice while having the protection of staff to monitor their progress. Three girls from the last internship program have done so well and achieved so much that the Sandra Jones Centre is now considering employing them full-time.

greenhouse girls 2The next group of girls has just joined the SJC for the 2020 vocational skills program. For the next 12 months, this group will receive training in running a broiler chicken project, a layer chicken project, a piggery, worm farming, and greenhouse farming. In 2016, AFCA allowed the SJC to add the greenhouse component, pledging 10 large greenhouses. Quickly, this project has become the most popular module in the training program and it is likely because the girls can see huge returns for their hard work. Here, they learn how to set up a greenhouse (bottom to top1), how to set up an irrigation system, how to compost and mulch (yes, they carry in the incredibly large amount of compost and good dirt required), how to start seedlings, how to transplant the seedlings, how to care for the maturing plants, how to grow vertically if tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers are the plants of choice for the season, how to water, harvest, sort, package, and sell the fruits and vegetables. The learning is intense!

greenhouse girls 3Much more than a program where girls learn a skill, the SJC and AFCA have created a place where young abused and broken girls become resilient, hard-working, eager to learn, and curious. Not only are the girls being trained and employed, but they are learning many valuable lessons each day! Lessons include business skills, financial management, the importance of hard work and integrity, teamwork, goal setting, conflict resolution, and honesty. As though all of this were not enough, through the hands-on training, the girls are helping feed the 140+ who live at SJC, making the center a food secure institution, unlike most of the country of Zimbabwe. Excess food is sold in the community, allowing the girls to save for the day they leave the center. What a gift! Food, security, love, education, and savings!

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