Clad in Blue work suit, a helmet and heavy gumboots, Joyce 21 years of age, never imagined working in a male-dominated mining industry one day. Her dream was working in a retail store or a hair dressing salon. Even her male peers envy her with admiration.  I remember the verse” time and chance happen to them all”, I grabbed mine and life will never be the same again.

I was already pregnant, living with my elderly grandmother and the burden of looking after the baby and my grandmother was taking a toll on me. Early 2021, I heard about the DREAMS program through a Facilitator. I joined the Social Asset building club in our area, Amazon of Ward16 of Insiza district, and i received HIV and Violence prevention sessions. This assisted me to rethink about my future and the responsibilities I have to take care of my family.

I also  attended ISAL training and my group started saving and engaged in small income generating activities. I was fortunate to be chosen among my group and others to attend an Entrepreneurship training in Bulawayo. After the training I could see life differently, having the ability to see challenges we face in the community as an opportunity. The DREAMS program also facilitated training for me and fifteen other girls in Mineral processing which was done by the Zimbabwe school of Mines. During the training, I became motivated during learning visits to mining companies seeing very few women working there. After the training, I exercised the self-confidence I gained from the social asset building club and approached the mining companies in search of employment.

I am glad to say that I work in the biggest mining company in the district as a trainee and upon completion in June this year, i will be offered full time employment. For now I am glad that I am able to take care of my child and grandmother.