By Barbara Benhura
Quote: A woman is an epitome of beauty, wisdom and care. She has climbed mountains and dived into the ocean: She has marched the steps with every man in the world.
Diaspora Women Empowerment Organisation celebrates the power of women, their rights and role in our lives and society. We do not only honor the power of a woman but also highlight their suffrage, pain, anguishes that they have successfully battled over the years.
This special day marks the introduction of the Diaspora Women Empowerment Organization.
The idea to form this organisation was dropped into our minds during one of the Zim-SA meetings at Sunset Lounge Restaurant in Pretoria after a moving speech by the organisation’s Finance Manager, Ms Louisa Samson.
A group of women came together in one accord to identify ways to address the problem of African women being disadvantaged in the society, especially Zimbabwean women.
The first meeting and formation of the Diaspora Women Empowerment Organisation was held on the 4th of December 2016 with only five women present namely: Nomagugu Pamela Tshuma, Louisa Samson, Lebo, Letty and Barbara Benhura. Our journey took us to Cape Town to explore other business opportunities.
The organisation was established to push the overall vision of empowering Diasporas to participate in the economic recovery of African countries, in particular Zimbabwe, focusing on a gender bias towards women diasporas.
Our mission is to build up the diaspora women to be able to participate effectively in the economic recovery of their respective African countries whilst working and residing in South Africa. we want to create partnerships between women diasporas residing in South Africa and their South African counterparts.
We are looking at this as a platform for knowledge and skills sharing among business women through workshops and similar meetings, and to provide support for startup businesses, existing businesses and emerging businesses.
Ours is a mission to promote women leadership in the region, and to encourage full participation by women in markets of the African region and beyond through engaging in income generating projects either individual businesses or as a group.
Our core values are integrity, excellence, accountability, respect (self-respect as well as respect for others), team work, and committment to business success.
Special thanks to the exhibitors and our strategic partners
In order to achieve the goals set up above, The Diaspora Women Empowerment Organisation will consider formation and registration of a Co-operative bank for women registered in South Africa which will be regulated by the Reserve Bank through an instrument called the Co-operative Bank Development Agency.
The co-operative bank will encourage women to raise funds through crowd funding and these funds will be loaned to members to start up new businesses or expand existing businesses.
Our daylong event at Dries Niemandt Park in Kempton Park was well attended and it brought together representatives from African embassies, as well as The Zimbabwe Embassy and Consulate, as well as the ZTA and the DTI of South Africa.
We also had sports professionals, business advisors, human rights people, the Zim-SA Forum, the Book of Reocrds. The key sectors that were represented included building and construction, food and beverages, financial and business services, tourism, insurance and funeral services, healthcare, education and diversified services.
Strategic partners included Ekurhuleni officials, Jhb Chamber of Commerce and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group as well as potential buyers and service providers.
We are grateful to the zimbabwedigitalnews.com for covering and reporting on our event and being such a fantastic media partner, and we hope to consolidate our initiative with some of the exhibitors who included Moneygram, Zim-SA Forum, PSMAS, Jimmy Jimmalo, Nyaradzo, Mama Money, Mukuru, Kings and Queens, Zororo Phumulani, Stanfab Engineering, Econet, Taalnet, Kopano Consulting, Danquah Guest Lodge, Sunset Lounge, Paringa Auto, Table Charm, Jetmate Fire and a variety of informal traders.
I end with another quote: “If you educate a man you educate a family or a village but to educate a woman you empower a nation: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia.
Benhura is Chairlady of Dwec
Pictures from Dries Niemandt Picnic Park
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