Swaziland – Nqobile Nkambule

Date: September 6, 2018
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Members of (CHE) Community Health Evangelism, Siteki receiving an award during the 2017 Summit

Community Health Evangelism (CHE) a non-governmental organization sets out to empower women to generate income, better their lives and become independent. In addition (CHE) was working towards preserving nature by reducing the risks of climate change. Nqobile was introduced to Gender Links by the then Siteki AMICAAL focal person Ms Nomathemba Siboza. During that time, she was already manufacturing wonder bags and doing community health work. Through Knowledge and skills she acquired from the entrepreneurship training, she continued with the business of Wonder bags on her own. 

The wonder bag business project came about due to the hike in electricity rates and load shedding in the country and the previous past two years where the country was struggling with scarcity of water since the dams were empty. The Wonder bag has bigger societal benefits. Apart from reducing energy use by 30%, it reduces cooking time and time used to forage for fuel which itself helps mothers spend more time with their children and helps children remain in schools. It reduces exposure to toxic fumes and health costs related to illnesses. It even saves scarce water. When the pot is insulated in a wonder bag at a fairly constant temperature, less evaporation occurs, so less water is needed. Open fires and unregulated stoves actually burn food and 20% is wasted. With the wonder bag wastage due to burning is eliminated. 

Since the wonder bag project started in 2014, CHE has been able to source funding from partners locally and internationally. Although had a challenge of getting funds and doing cash flow and business plan but SEDCO and gender Links entrepreneurship project trained her on lots  of things, pertaining starting a business and sales, book keeping and recording. She received donations for the United States Embassy, royal Swaziland sugar Cooperation and other individual people from the United States of America. The project has empowered 14 women who now earn money and able to support their families. Nqobile runs a bank account and grows her.  

After the training, Nqobile was able to set up an email address. She also market her business online and through the use of WhatsApp and facebook as well as SMSs to market her business.