Teaching Girls to Make Re-Usable Sanitary Wear

FAWEZI is partnering with Women in Tech to host workshops on making re-usable sanitary pads. Last week we went to Mabvuku High School and Domboramwari High school and taught fifty girls the strategy to make the pads out of any cloth they may have available. The activity was in line with the Menstrual Health Day (MHD) which is commemorated annually on the 28th of May. Due to the economic hardships in Zimbabwe, FAWEZI and Women in Tech saw is necessary to teach the girls to make their own pads so that they will not miss school because of lack of sanitary pads. We look to continue hosting these events into the future.
Advantages of re-usable sanitary pads:
• Cheap – as one will be making them with available material, for example old toweling cloth
• Comfortable – as they do not have chemicals which causes girls to react.
• They can be used as panty liners.
Points to note:
• The re-usable sanitary pads need thorough washing.
• Dry them in the sun or where there is air circulation.

The girls made sanitary pads for themselves and took them home.

Girls at Mabvuku High School showing off their new pads.

Counselling and Therapy Workshop in Chitungwiza

FAWEZI recently hosted a Guidance and Counselling Training workshop for teachers. The workshop was held at Chaminuka Primary School in Chitungwiza. The teachers underwent training on general counselling and therapy training, as well as a specific theory and practice lecture regarding drug related counselling. We also had a SRHR service mapping in schools exercise. Thank you AmplifyChange for supporting Fawezi in ‘Maximizing Opportunities for Adolescent Girls and Young Women’s Access to SRH Awareness’.

Action Aid Zimbabwe Inception Meeting

FAWEZI took part in the Action Aid Zimbabwe inception meeting
for the “Empowered Adolescent Girls for Improved Quality of Life” project as one of the implementing partners this week. FAWEZI National Coordinator Lydia Madyirapanze gave a presentation on the FAWE Tuseme / Taura unzwike/Khuluma uzwakale Girls empowerment Model during the meeting. The goal of the project is social and economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe. FAWEZI wishes to aid in developing a well rounded Zimbabwean adolescent, by implementing unique best practices and models addressing violence against women and girls, comprehensive sexuality education, and economic empowerment.

Service Provider Meeting in Shamva

FAWEZI recently traveled to Shamva to speak with service providers and the District School Inspector about SRHR services offered in the community, and gaps to adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) accessing services. A theme that came up consistently during the workshop was the lack of privacy individuals experience throughout the service provision process. Possible solutions mentioned included raising resources for facilities that foster privacy and campaigns to change attitudes around stigma and gossiping. Thank you AmplifyChange for supporting our work in addressing gaps in SRHR and Fawe Rs for your continuous support! We look forward to our next trip to Shamva!

Menstrual Hygiene Day Preparations

As part of our preparations for Menstrual Hygiene Day, FAWEZI is collecting sanitary ware to give to girls in need. Contribute to our 1 month sanitary pads collection drive and help us donate sanitary pads to disadvantaged girls in selected project areas in the Chitungwiza and Shamva Districts. The sanitary pads will be handed over to the girls on the Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH day) – May 28. On the day we will also hold dialogues with the girls on healthy menstrual management. Individuals and organisations can donate the sanitary pads or cash/transfer to make the purchase. MH Day provides a platform to break the silence, raise awareness, and change negative social norms around Menstrual Health Management, it also engages decision-makers to increase the political and economic priority and catalyses action for MHM, at global, national, and local levels.  WhatsApp questions or send ecocash donations to 0785541612.

SRHR Service Providers Dialogue

Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and information put girls’ health at risk. Inconsistent laws and policies relating to the age at which girls are able to access SRHR services without parental consent; stigma and taboo around the sexual activity of adolescents; a lack of comprehensive sexuality education, and other inconsistencies continue to negatively impact girls’ sexual and reproductive health. FAWEZI held a dialogue with SRH service providers from Chitungwiza today to discuss the policies surrounding SRH for adolescents.
Our aims were:

  • To interrogate existing SRHR services for Adolescents Girls and Young Women (AGYW) in and out of school, including the disabled.
  • To identify commonly sought services among AGYW, the availability of the services, and challenges being faced in accessing them
  • To analyze existing policies guiding SRH service provision .

The discussions buttressed the need to further build the capacity of service providers, especially on delivering SRH services to adolescent girls considering religious and cultural beliefs, ages of consent, and stigmatization. Thank you AmplifyChange for helping us maximize opportunities for adolescents and young women’s access to SRH awareness.

FAWEZI increases engagement in Shamva District

As November winds down FAWEZI can be seen ramping up our programmes in Shamva District. On 20 November we supported the training of over 100 teachers from Shamva District in Guidance and counselling (G&C). And on 22 November we hosted a sexual health workshop for a similar number of young women.

The G&C event was graced by the Shamva District Schools Inspector (DSI) Mrs Mudiwa, and the trainings were conducted by the District Remedial Tutor Mr Mugiya, a representative from Non Formal Education Mr Maswanhiso, and Mr Zanamwe from the District Aids Council (DAC). In her key note address Mrs Mudiwa reminded the teachers and school heads present on the importance of Guidance and Counselling, and advised them to take it seriously.
“It is our responsibility to guide our children, let’s take G&C seriously”.

Teachers took time to share on best practices in G&C, tying ideas back to their own experiences. Issues around the management of suggestion boxes at schools were among the hot topics for discussion. Teachers needed to know how best to utilise them, such as best areas concerning their placement, and how frequently they should be opened.

The sexual health workshop on Thursday 22 November was opened by the DA, following which FAWEZI asked participants to introduce themselves and share something they like about themselves, their bodies, or sex to loosen the room. The majority of the day was taken up by a representative from Zimbabwe National Planning Family Council (ZNPFC), Brighton Tendayi, who led lectures and activities on sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) and sexually transmitted infections. There was also a lengthy question and answer session.

The goals of the day were to provide information and answer questions on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and break the taboo surrounding issues of sex and health. The event was hosted at Shamva Country Club and mixed presentations with group activities and questionnaires to disseminate information and help gauge where participants were coming from.

On 27 November FAWEZI is traveling to Shamva again to disseminate reports on our current findings and experiences in the District.

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.