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The impact of Toose programme in transforming PWDs’ lives in ward 2, Mwenezi District

Woman carrying large crate of chicken eggs.


By Frank Shava - Gender Project Officer, TOOSE

Siziwe Zigomo is a 42-year-old mother of three who is a TISAL member of Tasimuka group. Before she joined Toose, Siziwe thought her destiny was defined by her disability. She relied on her migrant husband for remittances.

 “I felt powerless and hopeless. Living with a disability made me feel excluded, dependant and even discriminated at times. l depended on my husband for everything and had no voice in my family. I was angry and bitter and had no dreams for the future,” said Siziwe.

But everything changed when she joined the SAFE programme in 2022. Siziwe was encouraged to participate in one of the Toose Internal Saving and Lending (TISAL) groups where she learnt on vision-based savings and loans. She learnt new skills and knowledge that boosted her confidence and self-esteem as a woman with a disability. She had a vision of starting a poultry project that would produce eggs for sale at a nearby shops and school.

“After learning the new skills like vision-based saving, financial literacy and management, I decided to start my income generating project as expected from the training we received when we joined the TISAL group. I decided to start a poultry project with 50 Sasso chickens. The Sasso chickens were mainly for egg production. I also used some of the loan to purchase feed, medication and to start an income generating activity to sustain my project until the chickens started to lay eggs”, said Siziwe.

Woman picking up chicken eggs

Although there have been setbacks like diseases that have claimed some of the chicks, this has not discouraged her: “Toose equipped me with vast knowledge to deal with all these problems and I am happy now seeing my project taking perfect shape. Siziwe is the only egg supplier in her community. On average, I pick 20 eggs daily. During month end when demand is high, she is selling at least 50 eggs per day selling at R3 each getting R150 per day. Siziwe attributes her success to Toose ISAL group sessions that transformed her into a self- dependant individual regardless of her disability.”

She is now earning a steady income that is improving her financial status.

“I am using the money for households needs and using part of the money to invest in our lending group", she said.

She has set herself a sustainable IGA that she aims to expand in the near future into more value-chains. Siziwe stated that her participation in Toose have also provided her a safe space where she interacts with other women something which she previously lacked. She pointed out that, “Having been trained on disability inclusion together with other TISAL members, I feel embraced by my group members who are very supportive. They are also my egg customers and I feel being supported greatly.”

Woman feeding her chickens.

Apart from being economically self-sufficient, Siziwe’s participation in Toose sessions has greatly improve her relationships with her husband, children and daughters in law that she stays with. Siziwe attributes her participation in Toose for the good relationships she now has with her family and other members of the community.

“I learnt new skills such as the visioning, problem solving, communication skills, sharing positive time, and all these have helped me plan together with my family and to solve easily problems that affected our family happiness,” said Siziwe.

She stated that she feels her relationship is at another level as her husband is always supporting her even in the execution of her project and at times, he even walks around selling eggs. She further pointed out that her relationship with her daughter in law has also improved such that now they have a good relationship. Participation in Toose has also changed community’s perception of Siziwe.

“Unlike in the past I have gained so much respect and recognition from my community, who now value my opinions and decisions. I have also developed a good cooperative relationship with my daughter in-laws and my family such that we are now able to share common vision, positive time and able to plan as a family and our communication have improved greatly.”

Siziwe Zigomo is among several women who had their lives transformed after attending Toose sessions. She now is proud of herself and happy with her achievements. She is grateful to the donors and the implementing partners for giving her the opportunity and support to realize her potential and make a positive change in her life and that of her family.

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