Nico’s Story

Nicodemus Kanongovere

Nicodemus Kanongovere was born in 1981, he is second in the family of eleven, and he lives in Nakasaka Village 30km away from Mumbwa Town.

Growing up, he was very dedicated to school and whereas most of his friends opted to drop-out and indulged in negative vices, he soldiered on until he completed his high school level. Although his grades were very good, he could not proceed to tertiary school level because his family could not afford to pay the high-priced college fees.

Fortunately, in 2012, together with fifty other youths, he was enrolled in a six-month carpentry training course at the PAF Youths Training Centre where he learned skills in furniture fitting production and repair.

Subsequently, Nicodemus together with seven other youths from the training formed a carpentry group and were provided with a fully equipped tool box and a work-bench; these helped them set up a workshop for their income generating activities.

Immediately their business took off and individual members of the group decided to branch off and set up their own enterprises;
Nicodemus was among the first to leave the group venturing out to start his own carpentry workshop. Eventually, he saved up some money which he decided he would use to pay for his tuition fees in bricklaying at Kobe Trades School.

At present, he has established his own carpentry and bricklaying enterprise that he named Kanongengo and he has employed nine youths from his village.

He now owns a motor bike that he uses to reach people all over Mumbwa and he is currently building his own house which is scheduled to be completed this year. He no longer depends on anyone for financial support. Nico is now the bread winner in the family supporting his parents and siblings.

Nicodemus is very thankful for the opportunity rendered to establish him and he urges the other youths to work hard and be innovative and stop depending on the government to provide them with jobs.

Youth unemployment is a common problem in Zambia; Nicodemus’ story is evidence that given the opportunity to advance them, youths have the ability to be a positive change in their communities.

People’s Action Forum works to empower youth through the provision of training to the underprivileged people through its various survival skill, adult education and literacy programs.

Over the past 20 years, PAF has empowered young people with skills in carpentry, tailoring, peanut butter making, tie-dye and chicken/goat rearing. Most youths empowered with these skills have improved their living standards and have greatly contributed to the development of their communities and the country as a whole.

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