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 Alumni Celebrates the International Day of The Girl Child

The Forum for African Women Educationalist Zimbabwe (FAWEZI) Alumni held (belated) celebrations of the International Day of the Girl Child (IDCG) on November 5, 2016. The celebrations were conducted in partnership with the Girl guides Association of Zimbabwe (GGAZ) under the theme –‘Promoting quality education through standardised partnerships and gender equality, good health and well-being of the girl child.’

Members of the FAWEZI Alumni and GGAZ participated in various sporting competitions at Warren Park 2 primary grounds. The sporting disciplines included potato sack race, netball, girls’ soccer and athletics. The Zimbabwe Correctional Services Deputy Commissioner General Mupure was the guest of honour.

Speaking at the event the Deputy Commissioner General said any one can achieve their dreams if they work hard. “My gender did not matter when I joined ZPCS in 1986,I rose from the junior ranks up to where I am today because of hard work,” She said. Mupure went to challenge the girls to thrive to achieve more than they already have in their school work. “I challenge you girls to remain focused and thrive to do more,” she said.

FAWEZI provided trophies, shields and medals for the winners.

Diggi Girlz Day

On the 2nd of  December 2015 a total of 200 secondary school girls from  Oriel Girls, Mabvuku, Domboramwari, Epworth, and Tafara High Schools  took part in a  life changing  science camp were they were given practical experience in careers in the field of science and technology.

The science camp which ran under the theme name DiggiGirlzday was held at Oriel Girls High School by FAWEZI in partnership with Microsoft.The camp was aimed at encouraging girls to tack up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects so as to bridge the current gap between the sexes in this field.DiggiGirlz day was a first of its kind in Zimbabwe by Microsoft and was received with much gratitude from the participating schools.

The Provincial Education Director Mr kateera officially opened the event and gave emphasis on the need to have more girls in STEM field.“I hope that through this every girl will be motivated to not only take up careers in the ICT sector in a futuristic approach but also use the skills gained from the hands on training and mentorship session in creating solutions that can solve the problems in their immediate society using technology. “ he said.

More than 10 mentors who have made it in the STEM field had time to inspire and tutor the girls alternating with a practical coding session.Representatives from Microsoftalso took part in the mentoring session.Career exhibitions were also conducted with the University of Zimbabwe Science Faculty and Harare Institute of Technology amongst the exhibitors.Vibrant radio personality TendaiGwara was the master of the ceremonies at the camp and she also motivated the girls to take up STEM and to believe in their capabilities.

FAWEZI at AU Campaign Against Child Marriages

July 31 2015 was a noteworthy day for FAWEZI as our members were amongst the thousands of women and school children who gathered at the Harare International Conference Centre for the launch of the African Union Campaign on Ending Child Marriages.

The campaign held under the theme: ‘We Are Girls Not Brides’ was launched in union with the United Nations, the Government of Zimbabwe and the African Union Commission for Social affairs which was represented by the Commissioner Dr Mustafa Sadiki Kaloko.

Various speakers present emphasized the need to empower children with education before forcing them into early marriage which has been labeled ‘the new evil in town.’

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa urged men to desist from having sex with young girls stating that their bodies are undeveloped and they are therefore prone to contracting STIs, having complications during pregnancy and child bearing resulting in most of them undergoing caesarian sections.

The Minister of Education Lazarus Dokora also spoke about gender sensitive pedagogy, diversified curriculum, bonding within families and involvement of families in schools as means of curbing the rate of early child marriages.
He went on to say his ministry is trying by all means to ensure equal access to education for both girls and boys for basic education.

“Girls impregnated whilst still at school should be able to go back to school through another platform,” he said.
It was also fulfilling to hear Child parliamentarian Fungai Makuyana present a petition to Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Nyasha Chikwinya appealing to government to ensure access to education for girls and to make sure that the law prevents the marriages of children below18 years.

Speaking on behalf of traditional leaders, Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira condemned child marriages saying those who are engaging in child marriages are merely violating the law in the name of tradition.
The event was graced by the first lady Dr Grace Mugabe and the prevailing message was -give them books and not husbands/wives.

FAWEZI Re-Launches its Provincial Chapters

MIDLANDS PROVINCIAL CHAPTER MEETING
The meeting was held at Chaplin High School. The FAWEZI team paid a courtesy call at the office of the Head Mistress of Chaplin High School Mrs. Marufu who has been a FAWEZI member since 1998. She expressed gratitude for the launch saying it would revive activities in Midlands Province. It was chaired by the FAWEZI representative Mrs Mugigo who is the FAWEZI Gweru Chapter Vice Chairperson. The meeting was attended by 30 members.
BULAWAYO PROVINCIAL CHAPTER MEETING
The aim was to revive the Bulawayo Provincial Chapter and share information the current projects. The meeting was held at Mackertun School and was attended by the FAWEZI Secretariat, Chapter members and Teachers from various schools. FAWEZI paid a courtesy call at the Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo Mr D. Moyo who expressed appreciation for the meeting. The meeting was attended by 50 members.

FAWEZI Celebrates IDGC 2014

Through support from FAWE under the FAWE Alumni Grant 2014, FAWEZI partnered with the Girl Guide Association of Zimbabwe to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child.

This was in line with alumni advocacy strategy. The theme for 2014 was “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”. The event was held at the Ian Munroe Girl Guides Centre. The major activities included dancing, drama, first aid lessons, information sharing, poetry and singing competitions.

MEMBERS OF THE FAWEZI ALUMNI NETWORK
The participants to the event were: Warren Park 2 & 6, Cold Comfort, Mother Touch, Kuwadzana 2, District Education Officer Warren Park, Mrs I. Gweme, 3 members of the FAWEZI Secretarait, 5 alumni members, and Mrs Fungisayi Mashavave (prominent musician).