Youth Network Alternative Development (Youth NAD) has launched Youth Mining Syndicates to promote young people to benefit from local available resources and be key drivers of economic growth within their community through artisanal and tribute mining. The project borrows from the concept of tribute mining where young people engage an established mining firm and get time to mine and cede a percentage to the mining owners and retain a percentage. The project is christened “Alternative communication for policy advocacy: Locating youth rights and opportunities in local and national programs and processes”
The project is piloted in two wards 27 and 28 in Silobela district. The thrust of the project is to rejuvenate and strengthen existing youth groups by equipping them with information on how to explore mining opportunities provided by the availability of gold and other natural resources in their community. The project has acquainted youths with knowledge for sustainable utilization of natural resources when venturing into artisanal mining. It has given them information and techniques to protect the environment when carrying out mining activities. The organization has also setup Youth led Environmental Protection Advocacy Teams (YEPAT) to lobby, sensitize, and educate the community in general on sustainable gold mining. The youths are working hand in hand with the local leadership such as headmen, local chiefs who are very supportive of the project although some chiefs have not been fully supporting the initiative. The organization is continuously engaging them to find ways of cooperation.
Young artisanal mining have shared spin chilling experiences on how they have been treating each other in the mines in some instances murder cases have been reported, collapsing of poorly constructed mining shafts, abuse of girls, alcohol and substance abuse, prostitution etc. Youths are calling for assistance from well wishers to donate tools and materials for use in their artisanal and tribute mining activities.
Overtime time Youth-NAD) has been implementing the Building Local Democracy project that seeks to empower young people to claim their rights to participate in local governance and benefit in different initiatives done towards community development in Silobela, Nkayi, Chiredzi and Zaka. The programming is influenced by its belief that young people in many rural districts in Zimbabwe do not directly benefit from local available resources due to their vulnerability, lack of access to correct and relevant information and their marginalization. Traditional decision-making structures are exclusive as they are biased towards the old hence have not been accommodative for young people. Youth-NAD believes that unless youths have access to information, their ability to hold public actors to account, participate in policy processes, economic activities and their capacity for local organizing is incessantly hindered.