Beneficiaries Succeeding

More success stories: this time from our Non Formal Education (NFE) beneficiaries. Among FAWEZI’s beneficiaries are two sisters: Nyengeterai and Angeline Bene, who completed form 4 at Domboramwari High School under NFE in 2018. They both did well and made us proud!

FAWEZI is grateful to GlobalGiving online fundraising platform and to all our online donors who continue to help us give young women a second chance at education. Angeline now has 6 ‘O’ level subjects while Nyengeterai has 5 ‘O’ Level subjects. FAWEZI is currently on the lookout for opportunities to help them further their studies, so feel free to reach out to FAWEZI with any scholarship opportunities you know about. Congratulations Nyengeterai and Angeline!

Joint Sector Review of MoPSE’s Sector Strategic Plan 2016-20 attended by FAWEZI NC

Between 18 February and 20 February FAWEZI National Coordinator Lydia Madyirapanze – under the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) banner – attended the Joint Sector Review of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) Sector Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Yesterday she was part of a panel on “Equitable Access: What is being done to increase access, especially for the poor, girls, disabled, marginalized and vulnerable?” The moderator kicked off by sharing a quick glance of the 2018 MoPSE Statistics Report focusing on drop outs, people with disabilities, and the Basic Education Module Assistance (BEAM). With regards to Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning, Lydia highlighted: the role of conducting gender analysis in order to have gender-targeted actions, the role of the environment as enabler to improving access, and the importance of coordination of efforts by stakeholders to address cross cutting issues, among other things.

FAWEZI Presents: First Annual Women in STEM Forum

FAWEZI launched the ‘Women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Forum’ on the 13th of February 2019 . The event was aimed at creating sustainability for FAWEZI STEM projects by mobilizing women in STEM to support and commit their time and or resources to promoting STEM for girls. The launch of the Forum was aligned to the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) which was run under the theme: “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth”. This day was also a time for FAWEZI to reflect on its work in enhancing women and girl’s participation in STEM. FAWEZI therefore used this opportunity to showcase its experience in advocating for the increase of girls in STEM and also to garner more support and resources for the cause. The event was reported on by Pachikoro, and Spiked, whose article can be found here and here respectively.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Dialogues Part 1

On 11 February FAWEZI held two Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) dialogues, one at a Primary and one a Secondary School in the Chitungwiza District. We are holding a series of these sessions with adolescents in 10 schools total, with our target for this quarter being 5 schools. We spoke about puberty, stigma, discrimination, child abuse,and systems of reporting abuse with the primary school children. For the secondary school children we also spoke about grooming, and drug and substance abuse. The dialogue sessions were facilitated by Mrs P Manhivi from the Chitungwiza District Schools Inspectors Office. The most frequently asked questions were on menstrual management and protection after reporting any form of abuse. 

Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children Workshop

Programs Officer Blessing Chitanda gave welcome remarks during a workshop on ‘Strengthening civil society’s role in demanding for the protection and promotion of children’s rights in Zimbabwe’, organized by the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC). FAWEZI is the current board chair of ZNCWC Mashonaland Chapter.

Design for Change’s Be The Change Conference

FAWEZI is the Design for Change (DFC) Global Partner for Zimbabwe. The DFC ‘Be the Change’ (BTC) global gathering was held in Taiwan 30 November – 3 December and representative Jasmine Shirey attended on behalf of FAWEZI. She remained in Taiwan over the weekend to participate in BTC events and discussions and DFC workshops. The theme was ‘Together We Can.’ Children from all over the world presented on projects they thought up using the ‘Feel, Imagine, Do, Share’ (FIDS for KIDS) framework. In this coming year we will see Zimbabwean children unleashing the ‘I CAN’ mindset and presenting in Rome in front of Pope Francis. If you want to see Zimbabwean kids hit the stage next year, message us about partnering with DFC Zimbabwe.

African Youth Development Summit

FAWEZI representative Nqobile Nkiwane was invited to the African Youth Development Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was part of the moderators during the drafting of the End Violence in Schools youth manifesto on 1 December, 2018. She also coordinated the group discussion on ‘Provide safe School facilities’. Her reflection piece follows:

We may be different as youth from all over the world, but at some points we are united by our interests, aspirations, and even issues. Such was my experience during the drafting of the End Violence in Schools Youth Manifesto, held in Johannesburg, during the African Youth Development Summit, which just ended this past Saturday.

Being one of the moderators, I had a good opportunity to converse up close with youths from different backgrounds and countries, and I noticed that despite their heterogeneous nature, the outcry for safe school environments bound them together. The issue of eliminating violence in schools is a worldwide problem as evidenced by the UNICEF global poll where young people between the ages of 13 and 24 were asked if they had ever felt afraid of violence in and around their schools. UNICEF received more than one million responses representing 160 countries, with 69% answering “yes.”

School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is widely spread around the world and is common in many societies. SRGBV can be loosely defined as acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence happening in and around schools. This type of violence is due to gender norms and stereotypes. It can include verbal abuse, bullying, sexual abuse, harassment and other types of violence. Millions of children and families suffer from this type of violence. SRGBV affects every learner in different ways depending on their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and social status.

It is against such a background that UNICEF and other partners gathered youth advocates from all over the world and assisted them in drafting an #EndViolence Youth Manifesto. The manifesto drew content from overarching principles, the youth’s commitment, and their demands. The complete #Endviolence Youth Manifesto will be presented to Ministers at The Education World Forum in January 2019. The manifesto is part of a collective effort to #Endviolence in and around schools led by organizations including UNICEF, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), UNESCO, and others.

Setting aside the technicalities of the manifesto, the overall messages was ‘let us make safe school environments for everyone’. The school is a second home to the learners, teachers, and non-teaching staff. It is the place where they spend most of their time, and it is the place where they are most exposed to being victims, witnesses, or perpetrators of abuse.

This is the reason why the youth present at the drafting of the End Violence Manifesto made a call to the duty bearers, community members, and fellow youths, to prioritise addressing violence in schools. They suggested doing this by providing safe school facilities, sensitising teachers and students on violence, providing protection for every child, and teaching issues of diversity and tolerance, among others.

Eliminating violence in schools will be a step in attaining all the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but with a specific focus to SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and SGD5: “Gender Equality”. The elimination of violence in and around schools will increase access, retention, and completion of education amongst leaners at all levels. It is no surprise that the performance of leaners has proved to be much greater when they are exposed to a safe learning environment.

SRGBV will not be eliminated by the presentation of the manifesto alone. This social issue demands collective global efforts. It is everyone’s business. As a youth advocate, and someone who is already working on eliminating SRGBV in schools, I strongly believe that jointed efforts need to be made in laying out a clear picture of what SRGBV is. Communities and individuals need to acknowledge its existence, and understand and identify its effects, if we are going to come up with effective and sustainable solutions.

I am also happy to share that the organisation I work for, the Forum for African Women Educationalist — Zimbabwe chapter (FAWEZI), will be piloting a ‘Whole School Approach Model’ to combat SRGBV. The model is based on guidance published by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). This whole School Approach Model provides minimum standards to be achieved by schools in order to prevent SRGBV, and a monitoring framework to track progress. It is thus encouraging that I will be engaged in work that responds to the youths’ manifesto. The aim of FAWEZI’s pilot programme is to eliminate SRGBV by having the project schools achieve the eight ‘standards for a violence free school’ identified by UNGEI.

Lastly, I would like to encourage duty bearers, organisations, communities, and individuals to combine efforts in addressing SRGBV, as it affects everyone differently. To the youth I pledge my support in this work as we seek to create a future that will not tolerate SRGBV.

FAWEZI part of the Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning team for Zimbabwe

FAWEZI is excited to be part of the Gender Responsive Education Sector Planning (GRESP) team for Zimbabwe. Between 5 and 8 November 2018, FAWEZI co-facilitated the Eastern and Southern African Regional Office (ESARO) GRESP workshop with Joanne Sandler and Daphne Chimuka. The country teams represented were Kenya, Zimbabwe, Puntland, Somaliland, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kingdom of Lesotho, and South Sudan. We look forward to more engagements with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and other Stakeholders in 2019.

FAWEZI and beneficiaries attend meetings on inclusive education and ending child marriage

FAWEZI attended a meeting on Promoting Inclusive Education for Girls on 29 November. Educating a girl is one of the best investment her family, community and country can make. FAWEZI and beneficiaries also participated in a meeting on ending child marriages and child pregnancies. Despite the setting of a national goal of ending Child marriage in Zimbabwe, the number of girls dropping out of School is increasing as result of teenage pregnancy. Mr Gaihai one of the panelists explained how he has supported the School re-entry Policy and the work FAWEZI is doing in Epworth Mabvuku Tafara Districts to give girls and young women a second chance at education as a Headmaster. FAWEZI also works in Shamva District to promote Non Formal Education policies, increase access to SRH knowledge and services, and end school related gender based violence (SRGBV).

Amplifying our voice against School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) -16 Days of Activism against GBV.

The Forum for African Women Educationalists – Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI) joins in the observance of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December the Human Rights Day. The 2018 theme is ‘End Violence in the world of work’.

With this in mind one would then ask – ‘how safe are Zimbabwean women in the Workplace?’ More importantly for FAWEZI ‘how safe are girls and women in our schools?’  As an organisation that works mainly to reduce gender disparities in education, our campaign this year is inclined to School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). Female administrators, teachers, non –teaching staff and learners can be victims or perpetrators of SRGBV. Read more