The Matobo community single handely (without any donor assistance) initiated the construction of their Food Processing Centre in Tshelanyemba Business Centre and have reached up to the window level.
Dabane has been working with vulnerable communities in Matabeleland North and South provinces since 1990. Dabane offers necessary trainings to communites it works with and equip them with skills that enable them to carry on with project activities even after Dabane has left the area. The Matobo Processing Centre is an example of a community based initiative emanating from trainings that these groups received from Dabane. The community has not been assisted by the organisation for almost six years but with the knowledge imparted to them they managed to use their attained skills in bettering their lives.
Dabane facilitated a look and learn visit to Gwanda for Matobo garden group members. They visited garden projects as well as the Matshetshe Food Processing Centre (MFPC) which was constructed for Gwanda garden members under the PRP programme. The processing centre was constructed so as to address the issue of glut that the garden group members had complained about. After the look and learn visit to Gwanda, the Matobo garden group members also wished for a processing centre in their area to address the issue of glut as well. These garden group members also faced the challenge of producing the same vegetables from their irrigated gardens and fail to sell all vegetables to other community members.
After realising their challenges, the garden groups in the district, 61 people (52 women and 9 men) collaborated and came up with the idea of emulating the processing centre in Gwanda so that they do not make a loss by throwing away vegetables that would have gone bad. They decided to apply to the local authorities for a piece of land where they will construct their processing centre. After attaining the land, they each agreed to contribute towards the construction of their processing centre. Each member has contributed R800 (equivalent to almost US$80). Besides the structure for the processing centre, the group has also constructed a two roomed cottage that will be used as a guest house.
However, the group later applied for assistance to complete their structure and place proper equipment as they could no longer raise the necessary funds due to the depriciation of the South African Rand which they receive as remittances from their children or relatives in South Africa. Dabane received a letter from the group asking for such aid and through the Trocaire funded project, the group is being given the necessary aid.