Tuseme Empowerment Program: Rolling Out Tuseme Clubs!

We have been rolling out the Tuseme/ Let us Speak Out/ Taura unzwike / Khuluma uzwakale empowerment program in our project schools in Shamva. We started at Wadzanayi High School where we launched a Tuseme Club and had the members act out hindrances to their academic performance whilst also suggesting solutions. The Tuseme model uses a “theater for development” approach, which promotes participatory methodologies and gives an audience to learners, teachers, and the community. The club members tackled issues such as child marriage, drug abuse, dating and peer pressure, among others in their skits.

We also had a lively session at Shamva Ming Chang Primary School where we launched another Tuseme/Let us Speak Out Club. The participating learners identified real challenges and acted them out as a way of drawing the attention of the teachers, the School Development Committee, parents, and officials from the School District Office. The acts were followed by discussions on how best to solve the problems. Chief among the problems was child marriage driven by various reasons including cultural and religious practices. The learners also shed more light on how young girls or their families offer (them) to get married to popular gold panners in the district as a way of attaining ‘better standards of living.’ The participants agreed together: “It does not matter who does it [rape], as from today we are going to assist other girls in reporting it.”

We also launched a Tuseme Club at Madziwa Mine Primary School in the Shamva District. It was heartbreaking to watch the club members act out their day to day endurance at a school with serious water shortages. The learners also brought out issues of Child marriages, bullying, and other problems encountered during class. TUSEME uses a theater for development approach which promotes participatory methodologies and gives a voice to the learners, teachers and the community.

FAWEZI launched the 5th Tuseme/ Let us speak out Club at Madziwa Mine High School. The journey of launching these clubs showed us the differences in challenges faced by learners based on the school environment and the community’s attitudes. At this school, the learners’ biggest challenge is the long distances that they travel to and from school. The children acted out scenes of sexual harassment on the way to school, punishments received for getting to school/home late, and the effects that the long walks have on their academic performance.

 

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