Goats and Grain: A Young Woman’s Journey to Food Security
Mamamino Simonzyo, a 20-year-old young woman from Simatelele Ward 8 in Binga district, is contributing to the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance’s goal of ensuring food security in Southern Africa.
Mamamino joined the PSA Alliance project in 2020 and became a mentee for social accountability monitoring for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SAM4SRHR) responsible for educating young people on access SRH service at the local clinics.
Mamamino is one of the five ward mentees who interact with a group of 25 young people. Mamamino’s involvement with the PSA Alliance project has opened new opportunities for her to make a difference in her community. In 2022, she travelled to Mutoko district for an exchange visit, where she interacted with other young people involved in the project. During this visit, Mamamino used some of her savings to purchase five goats, kickstarting her goat-rearing project. Since then, her herd has grown to seven, and she’s now looking to expand into crop growing.
The PSA Alliance project in Binga district has recently introduced an agriculture component into its programming. By promoting agroecology and community-based seed systems, the programme is helping to empower communities and promote sustainable farming practices. Mamamino’s goat-rearing project is a perfect example of how the agriculture component can have a positive impact on communities. By providing an additional source of income and promoting sustainable farming practices, projects like Mamamino’s are helping to improve food security and promote economic growth in rural areas.
“Simatelele receives low rainfall, has high temperatures, and experiences very low yields each year. This is because of climate change. Most water sources in the area are drying up and every year in October it starts getting worse and the young people especially girls carry the burden of walking long distances to fetch water, at times coming back home late,” says Mamamino. “I am very excited with the introduction of the agriculture component, and it is going to help me transition from old ways of farming to new ways which are compatible with the climate in Binga. I plan to expand my goat project and get into gardening and grow tomatoes and vegetables, and I am looking forward to learning how to effectively use manure from goats waste in my nutrition garden.”
Mamamino comes from a family of six children with three younger siblings still going to school. She is planning to use earnings from her goat project and nutrition garden to buy stationary for her younger siblings, as well as save money to go to school, “I finished my O levels, and I would like to go to college to do either a teaching diploma or a nursing course.”
Mamamino is confident in achieving her goals because of the successes that she has seen through the project, including increasing the number of young people accessing SRHR services and participating in decision-making platforms and budget consultation meetings.