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HomeNewsWomen producing rugs to clean FQM Trident equipment

Women producing rugs to clean FQM Trident equipment

By DERRICK SILIMINA

Kashilenda Women Enterprise Limited is a local venture of about 10 Kalumbila women who started by supplying rugs to clean mine equipment, thanks to an interest-free loan of more than K300,000 they got from Trident Foundation.

Through its corporate social investment component, Trident Foundation Limited (TFL), First Quantum Minerals (FQM) aims to promote rural development via its local Business Development Programme. 

“I feel this business has lifted me out of poverty because as a widow,” says Kashilenda Women Enterprise Limited Chairperson Jin Medala, one of the local company beneficiaries of FQM’s Business Development Programme in Kalumbila’s Kisasa area. “I am now able to feed my children and sponsor them to school with ease.”

Medala discloses that what started as a women’s club in Musele chiefdom ventured into village banking and raised enough money to establish a women’s enterprise which would supply goods to the mine.

Medala, a mother of six, hails TFL for creating empowerment programmes among local women whose benefits would go a long way to improve their livelihoods.

“We commend the mine for all its empowerment initiatives especially among local women here because that has transformed our lives as compared to past days. We urge TFL to not only end with us but to continue empowering other women who are struggling to earn a living so that our community develops.”

The local company’s women-driven supply chain works through a sales network of salaula merchants, each distributing to their own social circle. The second-hand clothes are turned into rugs in readiness to supply to the mine. The model unlocks opportunities for women to increase their income, earn a living or build a business, and enrich their lives. 

hen women are employing and uplifting other women, or delivering a service that is hard to come by, they become the best agents for driving socio-economic development. 

Peggy Kampelembe, a member of the Kashilenda Women Entreprise notes that with the high poverty levels in the Kisasa area especially among women, TFL empowerment programmes will also enable women in illicit activities.

The women folk embarked on a supply business to the mine because they can easily deliver in bulk as compared to selling single items of salaula at local markets and that way, it is easier to budget and quickly grow the business.

“From the time we got a loan from TFL and started this business as a group, we’re able to see progress in our livelihoods. We have improved and we are now able to recapitalize our initial business ventures,” Kampelembe states.

She also commends the mine for paying for orders on time, which helps the women become consistent, efficient and effective in doing their business.

According to the 2024 TFL Corporate Social Investment Report, local business development and employment support programme activities include business stimulation, sustenance, enhancement and local employment with more than 720 entrepreneurs trained in the last four years and $200,000 returnable grants worth of funds and equipment. 

Another beneficiary under the Kashilenda Women Enterprise, Yihemba Katengo, discloses that the lucrative business makes approximately K15,000 worth of profit per month once 150kgs of rugs is supplied.

Katengo implores other women in the Kisasa community to proactively identify other business projects that they can get involved in and help contribute to their well-being.

“One can never go wrong with this business because once we supply for instance 150 kgs of rugs to the mine, we usually make a profit to a tune of K15,000 per month and sometimes more depending on the approved order.”

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