FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has initiated a number of projects meant to uplift the standard of living in rural areas, including goat rearing and small grains production.

The projects will be spearheaded by wives of traditional leaders.

The First Lady met the traditional leaders’ wives at State House in Harare yesterday to deliberate on a number of issues.

The wives of the traditional leaders apprised Amai Mnangagwa on challenges facing women, the girl child and youths in their communities.

Amai Mnangagwa, who is the patron of a charity organisation, Angel of Hope Foundation, pledged to assist.

“I will ensure that my foundation establishes chapters in each province,” she said. “Those in the provinces will take instructions from the head office and work with communities.

“Let us work together for the betterment of our communities. You should actively participate. You are Angels of Hope yourselves. I am going to start a goat rearing project. I will start it with  you.”

The First Lady said the inclusion of traditional leaders’ wives would enable her to fulfil her vision of reaching out to the vulnerable communities .

She urged them to work with communities in spearheading unity, peace, love and development.

The First Lady gave the chiefs’ wives small grain seed to help boost the Zunde raMambo scheme.

“We all have a role to play in the development of our communities,” she said. “I would like to work with you on social cohesion, ending girl child marriages, rape cases, gender based violence, promotion of cleanliness, and having viable community guidance in promoting food security and ending prostitution.

“I urge you all to work closely with the police and report to them whatever will be happening in your communities that need their services.”

The meeting was held at the request of the traditional leaders who wanted the First Lady to rope in their wives and help empower the girl child, among other important issues.

Speaking on behalf of the chiefs ‘wives, Mrs Priscilla Charumbira – wife to the president of the Chiefs Council Chief Fortune Charumbira – thanked the First Lady for the initiatives.

She said the projects will go a long way in uplifting lives in communities.