In a bid to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in communities, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development in conjunction with Katswe Sistahood trained and awarded 106 Community Activists (CAs) with certificates to work in communities as gender activists.
The 106 graduates were taken from Kwekwe and Epworth.
Speaking to Impact Stories Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the Community Activists’ graduation ceremony in Kwekwe last Saturday, Katswe Sistahood representative Chengetai Chininga said that Katswe Sistahood awarded the CAs with certificates as a gesture of appreciation of the work that the CAs are doing in their communities.
“We trained 48 Communities Activists in Kwekwe district and 58 in Epworth to make them 106 CAs who are well equipped with knowledge and capacity to work in ending GBV in their respective communities.
“We made sure that they are capacitated with enough knowledge beginning with dealing with them as individuals by making sure that we change their behaviours so we took them through the four phases Start, Awareness, Support and Action,” she said.
Chininga added that through the training and knowledge instilled in the CAs, their personal lives have also been changed.
“As we have been working with CAs since the beginning of the program in Kwekwe district and Epworth we realised that there is now a huge change in terms of knowledge around GBV and HIV as well as issues of domestic violence and how to deal with them.
“We also managed to strengthen the support system for women, most of the time these activists will be at the forefront in the fight against cases of violence against women.
“We have also realised that we are feeding into the referral pathway, CAs are referring survivors of GBV to the Victim Friendly Unit to find help, there are more referrals coming from their churches.
“The culture of speaking out has also been instilled within the communities we have also realised that in most cases some of the churches viewed GBV as private matters but now they have the knowledge and the courage to speak out against violence,” she said.
During the graduation ceremony, one of the CAs from an Apostolic church in Silobela appreciated the work that had been done through the SASA! program.
“SASA! Faith was sent to end violence amongst us.
“As Johane Masowe Chishanu we accepted this initiative to destroy violence amongst men and women that is why even God himself directed us to sit down, all of us whether man or woman we are all equal.
“God also directed us to be equal and keep justice, peace and dignity among ourselves, ” said Madzibaba Latwell Mpofu of Silobela.
The graduates were drawn from different religious communities that include Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Vakundi Ministries, Johani Masowe and others.