Friday, February 29, 2008

Excitement is in the air!

As many of you know, Jeanette Batiste departs for Malawi on Monday March 3rd to replicate ASAP’s program. That would be enough excitement for most! But on Feb 28 she decided to get married! Her new husband, and close friend for five years, Harvey Mtete, was visiting Jeanette from Malawi when they decided to tie the knot just yesterday.

Jeanette will be responsible for setting up the new ASAP Malawi Program at Chikwawa in the far south of the country. That area is the poorest in the country and has seen the brunt of much of the recent flooding. Harvey heads up wildlife conservation projects for African Parks, which, fortunately, is nearby. We look forward to Jeanette’s regular blogs to keep everyone updated on her progress.

As they wing their way to Blantyre on Monday, all of us at ASAP wish them good luck and a wonderful life together.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Making connections

by: Lazarus Nyatsanga, ASAP : Field officer for the Kufusa Mari Urban Project

Over 600 entrepreneurs in Sakubva, an urban area near ASAP’s office in Zimbabwe, are actively involved in savings clubs today, thanks to a project call “Kufusa Mari” – save for the future – ongoing since 2006. About 80 miles away, in the remote rural farming area of Tombo, over one third of the families have been involved in savings clubs since 2004.

In an effort to create market linkages, this week 12 urban Kufusa Mari savings club members traveled to Tombo area to meet their rural colleagues - where they received a warm rural welcome.

The rural farmers shared the schedule of times when they are able to offer a variety of items, such as beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, wheat, sunflower seeds, maize, chicken and rural handicrafts. The urban savings club members offered to exchange grocery items such as cooking oil, salt and sugar, as well as farming inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and cash.
Having shared notes on demand and supply modalities, both parties went away pleased with the results with a business action plan for future business in the works.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism.

Muhammad Yunus is author of a new book Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism.

Recently interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, here is a notable quotation from one of our mentors.

"Human being is not a robot. It’s not a money-making machine. A human being is much bigger than making money. Money-making is an important part of a human being, but certainly it’s not the totality of human being. Human being is much bigger than that. It’s also caring being. It’s a sharing being, wants to make a difference in the world. That part is not included in the business world, in the economic world.

Click here to link to the entire interview

Friday, February 08, 2008

Life in Zimbabwe Today

This submission is from Junior Gwitirwa, who started working with ASAP Zimbabwe in January 2003 as a "tea girl". With ASAP's help, Junior has attended various computer courses and is now helping out with general office work and as receptionist at ASAP's office in Mutare. She shares this insight into daily life.

Life in Zimbabwe is now like a very tough journey,

Only the toughest will get going.

It is like climbing a very steep mountain,

And only those with tight, grip shoes will reach the climax.

But, most of the people are falling on the way.

We cannot find basic commodities in the shops but,

We can only find them on the streets, fetching very high prices,

This is not affordable to most of us,

Only those with tough pockets will afford.

Prices of basic commodities are going up every day, day and night

The value of our Zimbabwean dollar is deteriorating.

To worsen the matter, we cannot get cash in the banks

Cash withdrawals are now very limited, due to this,

The amount of corruption in Zimbabwe is now very high.