FAWEZI ENHANCES ITS SRHR INTERVENTIONS

On September 7 The Forum for African Women Educationalists- Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI) held a meeting to introduce and plan for its second phase of the project on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). FAWEZI seeks to Maximise the Opportunities for Girls and Young Women’s access to SRHR. This project comes as an augmentation to a previous project which addressed the SRHR issues for girls in and out of school.

FAWEZI gathered representatives from various Civil Organisations, Ministries and Government departments with the aim of finding out the already existing work, services and gaps in line with SRHR interventions.

Representatives of young women and junior parliamentarians shared on the challenges that they continue to face in relation to SRHR and also suggested means of solving them. Popular among the challenges raised by the adolescents were limited access to SRHR services, lack of youth friendly service centres, costs attached to the service provision, negative norms and culture , lack of recreational services and the general cloak of silence that surrounds sexual maturation issues in their homes.

FAWEZI advances the belief that change cannot occur among youth communities unless youth are involved at every level. Because of this, inception and stakeholder meetings have junior parliamentarians or other youth present whenever possible.

The representatives from the Ministry of Health and Education acknowledged the presence of challenges in dealing with young people and their SRHR issues. They indicated that there is need to capacitate service providers, educators and parents so that they are able to engage the youth with regard to the modern trends.

Access to uncontrolled internet was also identified as a reason why adolescents are equipped with inappropriate SRHR information. Other recommendations in dealing with SRHR issues also centered on packaging positive SRHR messages in youth friendly means like Google applications, whatsapp and television series which appeal to the youth.

In 2014 UNICEF released a data set that indicates that while Zimbabwe’s rates of child marriage are slightly lower than neighbouring countries, more than 1 in 3 children are still getting married before the age of eighteen. Around 1 in 25 women are married before they even reach their fifteenth birthday. The rates of child marriage are especially due to young women falling pregnant while they are still in school. In light of this, FAWEZI directs SRHR programs to both in and out of school girls. .

FAWEZI next looks forward to SRHR stakeholder meetings in Shamva. Since 1998 FAWEZI has worked all over Zimbabwe, promoting the education of the girl child and running a broad range of programs both in and out of schools to address disparities in education at multiple levels.

FAWEZI Moves Forward Bringing DFC to Zimbabwe

On 11 September 2018 FAWEZI hosted a start up meeting for the program Design for Change (DFC). We invited teachers and students to learn about the DFC model and to participate in activities aimed at practicing the steps.

Design for Change is an international platform that advances the message that children can be their own agents of change. DFC encourages children to have an ‘I CAN’ mindset when approaching problems in their own communities. The DFC model is four steps:

  1. Feel the problem,
  2. Imagine a solution,
  3. Do something about it, and
  4.  Share your experience with others.

FAWEZI oversees the Zimbabwe branch of DFC and in the start up meeting we were excited to hear the ideas of the teachers and students about implementing DFC in primary schools. Teachers and students from Avondale Primary and from Louis Mt Batten Primary attended the meeting and brought up problems in their own schools that could be focuses of DFC student-run interventions.

 

In addition, FAWEZI met with Sister Claris Gowo, the Education Secretary of the Education Secretariat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Harare about implementing DFC in catholic schools in Zimbabwe. The Catholic Pope has confirmed attendance at the 2019 DFC conference at the Vatican. Sister Claris was enthusiastic about the opportunity and FAWEZI looks forward to further collaboration.

FAWEZI attends ZIM School Health Policy launch

The Forum for African Woman Educationalists –Zimbabwe chapter (FAWEZI) yesterday (12 June 2018) attended the launched the Zimbabwean School Health Policy at Blakiston Primary School in Harare .This policy comes as a means to endorse positive health factors and alleviate health risks among learners.

The school health policy was conjointly developed by the Ministries of Health & Child Care (MHCC) and Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) and is set to safeguard the health of learners and teachers within the school environment.

This School Health policy was developed with the vision of ‘A primary and secondary education system with an enabling environment for the provision of equitable, sustainable and quality health services for all learners’.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister of MoPSE Professor Paul Mavhima said they had been working on this policy with the MHCC for a long time and the policy will deliver health promotion for the benefit of teachers serving learners. He added that in practical terms his ministry will be investing more in school infrastructure ensuring that there are clean safe and reliable water sources, sanitation and hygiene facilities that are age appropriate, gender and disability friendly.

MCCH Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the launch of the policy highlighted the need to provide focused and comprehensive services for the improved health of the child.

“The launch of the policy again galvanises us into a pact to provide focused and comprehensive services for the improved health of the child.” He said.

FAWEZI National Coordinator Lydia Madyirapanze speaking on behalf of the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) commended the Ministries for the health policy.

“It is heartening to note that the development of this policy is backed by the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Education and Training,” she said.

“We are quite positive that the School Health policy which we are witnesses to its launch today will among other things, be a significant and useful framework for early detection, correction, prevention or amelioration of disease, disability and abuse from which learners can suffer”.

Madyirapanze also highlighted that the coalition is prepared to fully support the policy.

“As ECOZI we pledge to fully support the implementation of the Zimbabwe School Health Policy and our members will continue to compliment government efforts in ensuring sound health for the learners”.

The launch was attended by the Ministers of Health and Child Care, and Primary and Secondary Education, other senior Government Officials, members of the UN family, development partners and civil society representatives.

6 Mabvuku High Girls Receive Sanitary Pads From Ruvheneko

Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa a friend of @FAWEZI donated sanitary pads to the six girls that she is supports at Mabvuku High on 17 November. Parirenyatwa made the commitment last year at the launch of the FAWEZI Alumini which she attended. Handing over the pads to the girls Parirenyatwa spoke to the girls about hygiene and sexual reproductive health.

“Having sanitary pads is not enough, girls need to bath thoroughly,” She said. She also took time to discourage the girls from early engagement in sex and also warn them of the consequences.

“Focus on completing your education first-it only takes one simply mistake to ruin your life,” She said

Ruvheneko also ‘adopted’ a girl who she pays school fees for.

Competition Finalists

FAWEZI awarded finalist position in international story competition funded by ADEA! Ministers of Education from participating FAWE chapters selected the most significant change stories from across six African countries.

FAWEZI submitted three stories from many Zimbabwe submissions to be judged. One of FAWEZI’s submissions — Chiedza Child Care Centre’s — was recently selected as one of the three winners.

Representatives from FAWEZI and the director of Chiedza will be traveling to Nairobi, Kenya to attend the Award ceremony.

Second Phase SRHR Project Start up Workshop

FAWEZI held its second phase start up workshop on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in Harare on the 1st of September. Our aim was to engage teenagers in a discussion around the problems around SRHR and also listen to their proposed solutions so that we could map a way forward in our two year SRHR project to be implemented in Epworth and Chegutu.

The workshop was attended by Junior Parliamentarians who were instrumental in identifying the problems around SRHR for the youths who are in and out of school and also giving suggestions on the possible strategies to solve them. The Junior Parliamentarians confirmed that there is a lack of knowledge in the area of SRHR amongst the youth and also acknowledged that for those who are informed there is a tendency to ignore the information and indulge in pre-marital sex leading to early pregnancies, STI’s and HIV.

Child president, Tinaye Mbavari urged her fellow mates to make contributions so that a way forward could be mapped and lead to the reduction of early indulgence in sex by teens. “SRHR is the in thing, let’s all talk about it, let’s not be shy –speak out and make a difference,” she said. “It is a sensitive topic but let’s be open and fight rape, STI’s and HIV”.

There was a lively discussion between the young parliamentarians and the facilitators with the teens suggesting youth friendly means of packaging and delivering SRHR education. They also indicated that there is need to involve parents in such workshops so that they are also empowered to speak to their children on SRHR. Use of prominent people to educate the youth was also raised as a way of reaching out to the youth.

They said if musicians could be used to spread SRHR message most youths would comply as some tend to listen to their role models and celebrities. Above all the young leaders also said children need support in other abilities besides academic excellence so that those who are good in practical areas can also feel appreciated while in school and therefore reduce the risk of dropping out.

Youth friendly spaces were also applauded but the teens said they need the spaces to be better placed out of hospitals to avoid the stigma that surrounds being seen at a hospital.

STEM for Girls Through Innovative Competition Project

FAWEZI is running a ‘STEM for girls through Innovative Competitions project’ which will run from May to August 2017 in the Epworth Mabvuku-Tafara-District.

It is being run by The Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE).

The aim of this project is to create a platform for female students to test their creative, technological and innovative minds through the selective Gender responsive projects in STEM. This involves researched initiatives developed into projects that are presented for competition at the school, national and finally at the Regional level.

As an affiliate of FAWE in Nairobi which developed a (STEM) project with the aim of increasing the participation and performance of girls in STEM across Africa, FAWEZI seeks to advance the participation of Zimbabwean girls in STEM.

The STEM model incorporates activities such as; organizing science days and remedial classes for students, conducting STEM student camps, training teachers with skills to develop gender responsive teaching, encouraging teachers to use locally available teaching and learning materials, building capacities of teachers to use ICT in the teaching and learning process, starting School level STEM related projects, STEM competitions and exposing students to policy makers, exposing girls to telecommunications market leaders and female scientists as role models and mentors.

The competition will initially be conducted at school level were the overall two best innovations will be selected to compete at National level.

At the national level the best overall 2 performing projects will be selected to present the respective innovative and creative ideasas well as compete against each other at a Regional level in Lusaka, Zambia and also get an opportunity to showcase in Nairobi, Kenya at a 1 day regional conference during the FAWE Girls Education Conference and General Assembly slated for August 2017.

FAWEZI will be working with pupils and staff and pupils from selected schools in the district.

Communication has already been done with Mabvuku, Domboramwari, Epworth, Tafara 1 High Schools.

FAWEZI Holds Start-Up Workshop for SRHR Project

On July 21 FAWEZI successfully held the start up workshop for our 2-year sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) program at the Ambassador Hotel.

The project is being sponsored by Amplify Change in line with their mission of promoting communities educated on, and dedicated to, the teaching of sexual reproductive health information. The workshop was attended by various civil organisations and representatives from the education sector.Our objectives were to engage the participants in a discussion aimed at identifying the best ways to address the issues of SRHR in Epworth and Chegutu. FAWEZI also wanted to identify the organisations that are currently implementing projects around SRHR and also understand how their methodologies are working in order to implement the most efficient and sustainable interventions. An atlas of who is doing what in SRHR is currently being drafted and will help identify the next steps for all stakeholders to connect and move forward.

FAWEZI and Chiedza Awarded Second Place in the Stories for Change Competition

FAWEZI was recently awarded a finalist position in an international story competition funded by ADEA. This week, on July 7th, representatives from FAWEZI and Chiedza Child Care Centre traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where they were awarded second place in the competition!

FAWEZI submitted three stories on behalf of Zimbabwean organisations out of the many entries given to us. Ministers of Education from participating FAWE chapters selected the stories that showcased the best practices for promoting significant change for children in Africa from across six countries. FAWEZI is honored to have been involved with the competition and for our partnership with Chiedza Child Care Centre.