Ankhazi Women’s Club is a Community Based Organization (CBO). It was formed in 2005 and is registered under the Registrar of Societies in Lusaka, Zambia.
The founders of Ankhazi decided to form the club in order to work towards alleviating poverty amongst women and one-parent families. The idea of making the membership for the club only for women came as a result of women being the most disadvantaged in Zambia. The club’s membership comprises of widows, women who have retired or been retrenched, women heading households and generally other women in the community willing to take part.
The principal business of Ankhazi is sole trading (wholesale & retail) in fresh and dried vegetables, assorted traditional foods and fruits. Women are empowered economically to sustain their daily livelihood.Ankhazi also trades in fresh and dried vegetables, assorted fruits, and traditional foods. Most of the products are locally grown by the members. Those members, who are unable to do so, buy their produce from a known local wholesale market and nearby farms in Makeni. The club trades in a clean and hygienic environment and adds value to the products by packaging them neatly.
SAAF is providing financial support to Ankhazi as an income-generating project to achieve self sufficiency for families receiving support from SAAF. Some of the constraints faced by Ankhazi include:
- The clubs shop is currently working with only one deep freezer and it is proving to be difficult because some products cannot be placed in the same freezer.
- The club is in need of a cooler to be used for packaging soft drinks as a way of diversifying from typical vegetables shop to other perishable merchandise.
- The clubs financial base has extremely dropped because the members are not paying membership fees, which is the main source of funding.
- The shops lucks a till machine for the counter and furniture for the office manager.
- The club lucks transportation, which can help with the ferrying of the products for both members and customers.
- The Ankhazi club also lucks funding for the training of its members in entrepreneurial skills and basic care skills to help nurture the alarming levels of HIV/AIDS/TB patients in the community.
- The members also need to be trained in resource mobilization in order to sustain their activities and other cross cutting activities other than the core business of making women trade.
SAAF entered into a partnership agreement with Ankhazi to address some of these constraints and plan for the future:
- Ankhazi club intends to open another shop.
- The club intends to diversify its business from the core fruit and vegetable to trading in groceries and other essential commodities in order to make it convenient for its customers and also attract more customers.
- With financial and or material assistance, the club intends to engage itself more into the mitigation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
- Most of the members spend a lot of their returns on overhead costs and remain with very little profit: the club would therefore like to solicit support for a revolving fund from donors if the club was to attain its objectives.