….Women say GBV has gone down from SafAids Initiatives at rural community level
…School dropout cases drastically reduced in Marange area
Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) this morning (16/05/18) launched the Best Practice Book, a detailed piece which documents some of the most successful stories the organisation and its partners have achieved in some of the most marginalized rural communities in Zimbabwe.
By Michael Gwarisa
The Book titled “Integrating HIV and GBV Prevention Through Community Resilience Building: Success Stories from Zimbabwe,” is testimony of some of the works that were done in various communities in Manicaland, Midlands, Masvingo, and Matebeleland where Gender Based Violence (GBV) and gender inequalities are richly entrenched.
Speaking (On behalf of Minister Stehmbiso Nyoni) on the sidelines of the book launch which ran concurrently with the two day Best practices in HIV and GBV Prevention and Gender Norms Transformation Regional Linking and Learning Symposium, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development director Mr Steve Nyaruwata said government was committed to ending GBV and called on organisations to bring forward their proposals towards the fight against GBV.
“Government is committed to fighting GBV at all levels. However, let me reiterate that fighting GBV can not be single man job but requires collective efforts.
“Harmful gender norms manifest themselves through high percentage rate of GBV, rape, poverty, alarming rates of people living with HIV among others. As a country, we are adapting a multi-sectoral approach to the fight of GBV, we would like to call upon all orginsations with plans and ideas of fighting GBV to come foward with their proposals so that we work to gether on this matter,” said Nyaruwata.
Gogo Millarh Gumbo from Bubi, Matebelenad North said through Bekezela, an organisation which also partnered SafAids and Irish Aid to implement community development projects in Bubi, has empowered them to generate their own income through gardening and as a result, cases of GBV are drastically falling in the area.
“We were faced by a number of challenges before we were introduced to gardening by SafAids and Bekezela. We used to travel 17 kilometers juts to buy vegetables. A single bundle would last us for three days then we would travel back to the market again.
“We would survive on dried vegetables but thanks to the gardening program, we now actually lead very normal lives. Our families are nourished and cases of husbands beating up their wives are very low because we are also bringing food and money on the table,” said Gogo Dube.
Bubi is trailed by perenial droughts which affect agricultural activities owing to poor rains. Bekezela applied projects to set up a school tuck shop at Siganda primary school. In a single term, the tuck shop raised $210 in profit and is now supporting 15 vulnerable children who were struggling to to pay their fees.
SafAids also worked with various partners which include DOMCCP which worked in Mutare and other parts of Manicaland to empower communities in areas of income savings and lending (ISAL) as well as introduce a livestock scheme which helps both girls and boys to stay in school.
Judha Chiruka student from Marange said the livestock program has kept pupils in schools and cases of early child marriages and school drop outs have decreased significantly.
“Let me start by saying i appreciate the great works that is being done by SafAids, DOMCCP, Irish Aid and other partners in our community. As you have heard from Mr Nyamande, DOMCCP implemented the livestock projects in my area and Mafararikwa.
“Instead of children being chased from school due to non payment of fees, we are now chasing illiteracy out of our communities and school drop out cases are no longer a big challenge,” said Chiruka.
According to the livestock project by DOMCCP, each girl received two goats, she goat and he got and two chickens a hen and rooster while the boys received a single goat and three chicken. The numbers have doubled and children in the area are no longer dropping out of school.