Grace completed her tertiary education at the age of 22 years. Unemployment and peer pressure took a toll on her and she became pregnant out of wedlock. Her life became miserable, two years later, she became involved in voluntary community work. The Ward Councilor spotted her as she was doing her routine work and invited her to the DREAMS training.
“I met many of my peers at the DREAMS training, young mothers like me shared their experiences with confidence. I was motivated to face life and all its challenges. The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and gender norms sessions were an eye opener. I was empowered to make informed and healthy decisions in my life.”
Grace also enrolled for a skills training where she acquired knowledge about making different detergents and perfumes. This improved her life, enabled her to provide for her son, and pay school fees for her young brother.
In September 2019, Grace was one of the first DREAMS young women to enroll for the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs where her entrepreneurship skills were further strengthened. Her experience at the US Embassy where the graduation took place was life changing. She had opportunity to interact with young mothers who regardless of their backgrounds had made it in life. She also met the then US Ambassador, Brian Nichols.
“I vividly recall my conversation with the former Ambassador, he emphasized the need for young women like me to pursue available opportunities with confidence and determination. His words still ring in my mind up to this day. They are a source of inspiration.”
Due to her excellent performance at the training, Grace is now a US Department of State Alumni, a great achievement which made her a pride to her family and peers.
Grace continued to excel after the entrepreneurship training graduation and became the DREAMS Club Facilitator and later the District Facilitator. “All my roles at DREAMS have been exciting and have helped me to shape my career path as well as advance my studies.” A proud holder of a Special Honors Degree in Monitoring and Evaluation, Grace was later employed by the Zimbabwe Health Interventions as the Strategic Information Evaluation Assistant.
In addition to her successes in her career, Grace remains committed to serving her community championing the ideals of the DREAMS program. She focusses on educating her peers about SRHR and Gender Based Violence referring them to DREAMS partners for further support. She has remained a dedicated advocate for women’s rights. Even in the midst of the COVID 19 induced lockdown, she continues to engage with Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in her community through WhatsApp groups.