We held our celebrations of the #IDGC2020 International Day of the Girl Child on the 9th of October at Seke 2 High School. FAWEZI invited girls and boys from schools under – School Related Gender Based Violence -A Whole School Approach -Pilot Initiative project. Amid the COVID -19 pandemic, lock-down, prolonged school closure, current absence of teachers In the schools we offered our girls a platform to speak on issues affecting them. FAWEZI engaged Rejoice Nyewerwayi Nharaunda to facilitate an anonymous question and answer session whilst also offering psychological support to the girls and the boys.Issues raised by the learners include teen pregnancy, sexual abuse, child marriage, lack of adequate food and sanitary wear , water shortages, illegal abortion, and fear around the uncertainty of their education. Representatives from the Chitungwiza District Office also gave responses and solutions to some of the issues arising.
On the 27th and 29th of July FAWEZI trained the second group of teachers on Child Safeguarding and the National Case Management System in Shamva and Chitungwiza respectively. In attendance were Guidance and Counselling teachers and School Heads from project schools in Chitungwiza, and representatives from the Provincial and District Offices. Facilitators included Police VFU, officers from District Social Welfare, Health professionals, and FAWEZI. This activity was part of the project “Empowered Adolescent Girls for Improved Quality of Life. FAWEZI is implementing the project with support from Action Aid Zimbabwe (AAZ) and in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe (LCDZ) and AIDS Counselling Trust (ACT).
In line with its running Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project FAWEZI held a one day career guidance for high school learners at Oriel Girls High School on the 22nd of March 2019. This event was aimed at bringing female role models in STEM closer to the learners so that they could get insight on how to follow diverse career paths in STEM. FAWEZI invited 5 leaners from 6 of its project schools in the Epworth Mabvuku Tafara District. (Oriel Girls, Tafara 1, Tafara 2, Mabvuku, Epworth, Domboramwari) to attend and receive hands on training and mentorship from various STEM mentors. FAWEZI conducted this in partnership the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) – Technology Transfer Center. Other mentors present were drawn from, Techwomen Zimbabwe, Purple Future Trust and Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers. The activities of the day included design thinking skill sessions, group ICT mentorship session hands-on programming (code labs) for all participants’ competitions in design thinking and STEM career guidance lectures.
FAWEZI believes that such events increase the interest in STEM especially by girls as they bring in fun to the learning and teaching of STEM and also provide close interaction with role models. The attendants (teachers and students) recommended that FAWEZI holds more of such events and also included more learners. As an organisation that has been working in schools in Zimbabwe since 1998, FAWEZI has been implementing various projects to promote girls education. Central to its work has been the promotion of the uptake and performance of girls in STEM. FAWEZI is currently in the last year of implementing a 3 year STEM project funded by the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) which is targeted at creating an interest and excellence in STEM by the girls from selected schools in the Epworth – Mabvuku -Tafara District.
In May 2017 FAWEZI hosted two workshops at Harare Girl’s High School.
The morning workshop was for guidance and counselling teachers and young women from the Epworth-Mabvuku-Tafara district, and focused on methods of cultivating life and leadership skills in children. The afternoon workshop hosted mostly teachers of math and science subjects and members of the school development committee from the same district. This latter event emphasised the promotion of girls in STEM subjects and bringing conversations of gender into the classroom.
Both workshops were graced by the presence of Richard Kwenada, who is the head facilitator at KUIBUKA team building. He led many team building exercises and innovatively introduced topics such as leadership skills, communicating visions, and partnership development. In the afternoon workshop, Knowledge Chikundi from Zimbabwe Science Fair, shared a presentation on ‘Fun Science!’, suggesting various demonstrations to attract children, and especially girls, to science subjects and show how “science is everywhere”.
In the morning, two FAWEZI consultants shared the results of their desk review on sexual reproductive health knowledge in the Epworth-Mabvuku-Tafara district. FAWEZI representative Jasmine Shirey led both workshops through hopes and expectations, which were later reviewed by the FAWEZI team to evaluate the success of the day and make notes for next time. In closing, the participants managed to map ways forward with school based action plans and share ideas with one another.