The Focused Workshop
Visit the Focused Workshop page for a general description of the FW intervention.
We began FW in Swaziland in early 2010. A CIET representative visited the sites and presented him/herself to the community inner council (Bandlancani) through the community Bucopho. The Bucopho / Indvuna (Chief’s right hand)/Umgijimi (messager) mobilised the communities to attend a meeting where the CIET representative briefly presented the intervention. The (Inkhundla) Constituency covers a number of communities. We did a door to door campaign to recruit and inspire young women to form FW groups to support each other and hopefully start up an income generating venture.
The initial skills workshop took 3-4 days depending on how the girls progressed. On completion of the workshop the girls formally introduced themselves to the chief as a group. In almost all sites the Chief was supportive and offered to assist them in any way possible.
Once a week we spent a day with each group to support and assist them. We introduced them to funding organizations such as Imbita (Women’s microfinance scheme). The Business Place trained the FW group in one site to start a business; they registered their company and continued to mentor them. Some of the young women were interested in agricultural projects and we worked with Umlimisi (Agricultural extension officers) to train them. We assisted and trained groups to set up enterprises such as floor polish making, vaseline making using local medicinal aloe, bottling vegetable pickle, and fabric softener manufacturing.
Some of the young women took part in BVV discussions led by CIET facilitators in sites where BVV was also an intervention and in one community the FW group successfully organised and launched a choice disability awareness campaign (tying in with Concerting in that site).
Two groups officially launched their group in a community feast they planned and hosted. Local government officials and local traditional leaders attended.
When approached for stories about their experience in the FW intervention, young women described how it had changed their lives, even if the group was not still active.