The Shining Star project is very different to other organisations working with girls and women in the sex trade in Zimbabwe. Other organisations focus on protecting the sexual health of the ladies as they carry out sex work, but Shining Star goes well beyond sexual health support to also empower the girls and women to create sustainable pathways out of the sex trade and into a career of their own choice.
In Bulawayo, 38 ladies participated in the business skills training which covered business management, writing a business proposal, how to start a business and marketing skills. 22 of these ladies were peer educators and 16 additional girls and women in sex work also joined the programme. 19 proposals were submitted from the 22 peer educators, and 17 were accepted for business loans to get them started in their chosen field. The ladies whose proposals were not approved yet, will have the opportunity to improve their applications and re-submit.
5 ladies were approved for vocational training in Bulawayo, along with 3 of the teen mums. They have begun their journeys to become qualified in hotels and catering, dress making, hair dressing, beauty therapy, and Early Childhood Development.