Community Development Education Health Social

ZiCHIRe Engages Community Members in Curbing Gender Based Violence

Walter Chikanya

By Joyce Mukucha and Anyway Yotamu

The Zimbabwe Community Health Intervention Research (ZiCHIRe-BC), in an effort to eliminate Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and emotional damage is conducting a Spotlight Initiative programme through a Co-Creation platform where the organisation is roping in the community so that members can share the problems they are facing in as much as GBV is concerned.

In a side-interview with Spiked Online Media during a three-day Community Health Intervention Research Behavioural Change Programme in Harare on the 18th of November 2019, the Spotlight Initiative Programmes Officer for Epworth, Noma Rakgajane pointed out that there was need to curb all forms of domestic violence as well as emotional damage in communities and said this could be achieved through engaging members of society.

“The Spotlight programme aims at bringing out the problematic cases in a bid to lead to effective solutions. This programme is community driven as we want members of the society to tell us what exactly is transpiring in their respective communities. When they come up to share the problems, it will enable them to come up with best interventions for their communities so that even if we ship out they can stand on their own. This is because after opening up what they exactly want from us they will figure the solutions they feel are good for them especially for the betterment of women and the girl child whose lives are being damaged on a daily basis,” she said.

Major issues that she raised pertaining GBV include early marriages, rape, sexual assault, emotional abuse and child prostitution among other cases.

Walter Chikanya, the Director of ZiCHIRe-BC said the Community Health Intervention Research Behavioural Change Programme was significant as it helps in figuring out and locating the hotspots of domestic violence. The programme, he emphasised, allows the victims of GBV to seek help and ensure that the perpetrators are convicted.

ZiCHIRe also conducts the Sista2Sista initiative and the Brotha2Brotha programme where the organisation is taking on board young boys who they provide with education on the need to respect their girl counterparts in a bid to shun sexual gender-based violence at all costs.

“We aim to reach out to young men and youths with comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health messages. By catching them young, we are teaching the boy who will mature into a responsible adult who respects women and upholds their rights,” said Chikanya.

ZiCHIRe capacitates young boys and girls with information regarding their sexual reproductive health rights, sex and sexuality. This helps in preventing transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted or unplanned pregnancies as well as suicidal ideation among others. This also capacitates the youths against engaging in substance and drug abuse.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende