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Kansanshi starts jewellery project for girls

KANSANSHI Mining in Solwezi has invested K3.5 million in the copper jewellery making project, which is aimed at empowering young women.

Public Relations Manager, Godfrey Msiska said the Nsanshi Jewellery Art project was the company’s initiative to empower young women with the skill of jewellery making using copper to make them self-reliant.

“In June 2020, we started a factory in a classroom, we got the basic tools but that was not an ideal place to do business so we thought of building our own structure.

“We moved from basic tools to the now state of art machinery that we are using,” he said.

Mr Msiska said in an interview that the concept was initiated after seeing many young girls around the community idling due to various social and economic challenges.

“We have created an opportunity to train these young women  with a skill that can enable them create their own jewellery making businesses or explore the world and work in bigger jewellery factories.

“Most of these young women came from the communities, some were sent through the royal establishments because we wanted to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity,” he added.

 Mr Msiska said the mining company was happy to be associated with empowering young women into better and useful citizens.

He said the project started with the local market but now aiming for the international market. Mr Msiska added that some people from outside the country had expressed interest in the project.

“A lot of people have been buying our jewellery due to the good quality and as a mining company we are so happy to associate ourselves with this project and First Quantum is a global company so we are just aligning ourselves with the philosophy of the group,” he said.

Kansanshi Community Foundation Gender Officer, Pamela Chanda, said the mining company attached great importance to women empowerment.

“In doing this we have been working with the Young Women’s Christian Association to get more ideas on how best we can help the young women,” she said.

Ms Chanda said the proceeds from the Nsanshi Art project helps YWCA with logistics, as well as the day to day running of the GBV centre, established at the Solwezi General Hospital.

Ms Michele Schozlt, a teacher at Nsanshi Art project, said 10 young women were undergoing a two-year course training in jewellery making.

Ms Schozlt said they would eventually want to sell their products in curio shops across the country especially at the airports.

“We had one order of 30 earrings sent to panama and hope that this could lead to many more export orders,” she said. She said the raw material was pure copper from Kansanshi mine. – ZANIS.


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