WORDS: Loverage Nhamoyebonde/FAWEZI Information and Communications Officer
Ronny Hadebe is one of the Community Champions implementing the SASA! Together methodology that seeks to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in ward 10 Chitungwiza district under the Towards Resilient Communities with Health, Equity and Safety for all (TORCHES) project.
Hadebe’s journey with the SASA! Together methodology shows how the intervention successfully changed lives at an individual level and how the transformed lives influenced change at the community level.
“I was short-tempered, and this tendency of becoming angry easily was deeply rooted in the fact that I always wanted to exercise power without any hindrances. My subsequent encounters with FAWEZI, the SASA Awareness phase training in particular moulded me into a calm person who hates negative power and its effects on the lives of people,” said Hadebe.
Hadebe explained how the transformation that took place in his life benefited the community that he resides in.
“I made a decision that my community must benefit from the change that took place in my life. I implemented the SASA! Together sessions wholeheartedly and impacted many lives in my community.
Hadebe gave examples of three beneficiaries of the SASA! Together sessions who later came to him to testify about the change that took place in their lives.
“A couple that attended one of my sessions where I led the power within discussions later came to me and told me that there is now peace in their home and they give credit to the SASA! Together session. Another beneficiary who had endured a violent marriage for a long time came testifying that there is now a change in her marriage. The woman was known in the community for seeking help or a place of safety from neighbours as she was occasionally being assaulted by her husband.
Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MWACSMED) officer, Albert Mutasa commended the SASA! Together activities in the Chitungwiza district for complementing the ministry’s mandate.
“Women should not feel being overpowered by men. Most men and boys tended to misuse their power and failed to realise that women also have power and they must never be underrated based on their sex.
Mutasa added that there is a great difference if comparisons are to be drawn from the situation that existed before and after the implementation of the SASA! Together intervention.
“The community lacked much information in connection with positive power. The community was familiarised with physical power but awareness of positive power has brought a change. Most men are now able to recognize and respect women as well as understand that they can do anything that a man can do,” said Mutasa.