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’.

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!

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.

More Sexual and Reproductive Health Talks

More Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights #SRHR dialogues with our girls in schools. At Wadzanayi Primary and Secondary school in Shamva the girls proved to have information on most of the issues like menstrual hygiene and all forms of child abuse. The girls shared challenges on issues of harmful cultural beliefs – Chiramu and drug and substance abuse. Thank you AmplifyChange for funding our work and allowing us to foster and encourage dialogues on the multifaceted nature of SRHR.

SRHR Dialogue in Shamva

We continue to share experiences form our Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights dialogues – this time from Madziwa Mine Primary and Secondary schools in Shamva. We spoke about child rights and responsibilities, and about SRHR nuances with students from a range of ages and backgrounds. Our facilitators from the School District Office engaged learners in an exercise to identify their rights and responsibilities as well. As FAWEZI we led the conversations into more details of SRHR. Most questions raised from the Primary and Secondary children revolved around sexual abuse and menstrual hygiene management. Lack of sanitary wear , inadequate ablution facilities, and the ‘cloak of silence’ around menstruation issues at home, were the major challenges raised by girls. 

SRHR dialogues with young women in Shamva District

FAWEZI had an SRHR dialogue with young women from Chitungwuza District this morning 27 February, 2019!
The event was graced by representatives from The District Administrators Office, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Chitungwuza City Health, and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises-Developments. Thank you to everyone involved and who has shown up this morning.

Participants of FAWEZI’s dialogue with young women in Chitungwiza engaged in an evaluation exercise put on by FAWEZI’s monitoring and evaluation officer Aleaster Masiyakurima. Participants at the Chitungwiza Publicity Center dialogues were also asked to think about questions such as:

‘Why focus on adolescents for issues of SRHR?’ and ‘What demographic would you focus on and why?’

FAWEZI focuses on adolescents because they are at risk of: lacking knowledge/resources, contracting STIs, sexual violence, and becoming pregnant. Participants also tackled issues of economic empowerment and personal grooming and how they relate to sexual health. Aveneni Mangombe from the Ministry of Health and Child Care led multiple exercises, such as defining SRH, unpacking what SRHR are, and asking an audience participant demonstrate and speak to the audience about what she calls the ‘don’t touch areas’.
Another participant memorably told the crowd that “We have a right to say no to sex and to uncomfortable touches”.


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.