First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa –through her charity foundation, Angel of Hope — has launched a training programme that will see young women from disadvantaged backgrounds gaining entrepreneurial skills that will empower and capacitate them to be self-reliant.

The programme — Young Women in Tourism — which is targeting women aged between 18 and 25, has already started in Harare and Bulawayo and participants are being trained in various disciplines in the hospitality industry.

The foundation’s chief executive officer Mrs Busi Marandure said the First Lady’s seeks to see the underprivileged girl child having access to opportunities and exposure. She said the First Lady partnered with the Zimbabwe Tourism Association and National Parks for the success of the programme.

“Our patron of Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady, had a vision that she wanted to see young women who ordinarily are not exposed or do not have access to opportunities, be part of a programme where they are trained in various disciplines in work readiness and have exposure to hospitality and tourism opportunities,” she said.

“The Young Women in Tourism programme will lead to the young women having confidence, exposure and mentorship in opportunities that lie in the hospitality industry. The mentorship programme is currently for Bulawayo and Harare as a pilot and will be rolled out to the rest of the country in due course upon completion of the pilot phase.”

Mrs Marandure went on to outline how the programme will be rolled out adding that upon completion, the young women will receive certificates from Zimbabwe Tourism Association in partnership with Angel of Hope Foundation.

“The young ladies receive training first with Angel of Hope Foundation and its partners to boost their knowledge, confidence and skill level on the overall industry and opportunities available,” she said. “They are then attached to a hotel, lodge, restaurant, airline or partner who operates within the industry for a two-week programme where they will learn more.