Jambiani Autoworks

At long last we are seeing the culmination of many years of planning. ZAP trained fundis, Rama and Kassim, originally simple and uneducated village boys with no prospect of gainful employment, now fully trained and experienced car mechanics, are employed in running the brand new Jambiani Fundi Autoworks which opened for business recently.
Trade was slow at first, but now we hear that customers are arriving thick and fast, and in the words of one of them, talking to Mr Vuai who is our acting manager and mentor of the fundis: ‘Jambiani Fundi Autoworks is one of the best garages in the South District of Zanzibar’. The mechanics are doing an excellent job, working long hours during the week, and at weekends in emergencies.
This really is the most exciting prospect. By far the most ambitious of ZAP projects so far, it has certainly not been plain sailing, and we have had to invest more funds into it than anticipated. But from the first we were determined that it should offer the highest possible standards of service, thereby attracting customers from a wide catchment area, and bringing to Jambiani the type of thriving small business which is sure to have a ‘knock on’ effect in the local economy. Already, a couple of other small shops have opened nearby – one enterprising guy selling car parts, oil, grease, batteries and so on.
The Autoworks project, part of the wider Jambiani Fundi Workshop, exemplifies ZAP’s philosophy. We do not believe in hand-outs, but only education – both academic and vocational. This is real aid, the only sort that works in Africa. Give skills, not money, but also be prepared to help with living costs during their training, so that their families do not suffer hardship.   Most importantly, provide pastoral care along the way. Mr Pandu and Mr Vuai are to be congratulated for so ably nurturing the young, raw men of the village during their tough training in town, and giving them much needed support and encouragement as they struggled to establish themselves.
We say ‘Good luck’ to Rama and Kassim and to the other 5 ZAP fundis – Amour, Haji, Mrisho, Muhidini and Mohammed.  We are very proud of all of them.


ZANZIBAR ACTION PROJECT is a Registered Charity in the UK No. 1108030