Keen to enable and empower local people living in the communities surrounding its mine and create a positive lasting impact, MRM is now providing financial training for those in the region of Namanhumbir, Mozambique. In partnership with Gapi – Si, Sa, it is rolling out several training courses that will equip citizens with the skills and knowledge to develop sustainable livelihoods, and thereby support themselves and their families.
Emphasising the principles of investment and conscious consumption, the sessions aim to give attendees basic training in money management and savings and investments, to improve their financial awareness and household decision-making. As well as Namanhumbir, the communities that have benefited, or will benefit in the next training cycle, include Nseue, Chimoio, Mpuho, Nanhupo, Nanune, Mpupene and Nsembia. So far, 85 citizens have taken part, being put into three groups of ‘Savings and Revolving Credit’ to put into practice and evaluate the lessons learned in the sessions using actual money.
One of the trainees, Abudo Atimo, who is 32 years old, said: “When this project was introduced in Nseue, it made me realise how to manage money. I have already saved 10,000 meticais [150 USD], which has allowed me to open my own business and manage the profits. My life has changed. Before, I had nothing, but now I can take better care of my son. My next objectives are to buy a generator and a freezer to expand the business.”
Rafina Silva, another participant, said: “I have been a dealer since 2007, but when the project arrived it reinforced my entrepreneurial spirit. I learned to save and manage my money, and I managed to establish my business in the market. I sell basic products and want to expand to other areas. The training has changed my life. I have managed to buy a piece of land in the city of Pemba, and soon I will start building my house.”
Emílio Jamine, MRM’s Deputy Manager of Community Engagement, noted: “The participants’ satisfaction was remarkable, because in addition to saving money, they managed to finance small businesses in their communities. This exercise perfectly demonstrated that the solution to community problems is often found within the community itself. During this project, the community realised they were able to solve their everyday problems with existing tools.”
Satisfied by the positive start to this initiative, Montepuez Ruby Mining will continue to include this empowering financial education drive as part of its community initiatives, in hopes of enabling sustainable livelihoods for more and more people living around its mine.