Tuseme/Let us speak out

Taking ownership of “Tuseme/let us speak out” clubs

Seke Mhuriimwe secondary school has taken ownership of the Tuseme/let us speak out club to ensure its sustainability. Located in Chitungwiza one of the urban settlements where cases of early

 

pregnancies and child marriages were on an increase, the school adopted the club as a tool to tackle the root causes of early pregnancies, child marriages and suicide cases.

Speaking during an unannounced regular monitoring visit, Seke Mhuriimwe Guidance and Counselling (G&C) head of department, Mrs Ndaneta Chivaviro said the Tuseme club has proved to be an effective tool in addressing love relations amongst learners.

“Learners were involved in love relations that were resulting in early pregnancies and child marriages. School dropouts were on an increase and we effectively used the Tuseme club to address the situation through dramas and films,” said Mrs Chivaviro.

She added that the use of films during Tuseme club activities made the sessions interesting and many students have joined the club.

“Before the introduction of films, very few learners were attending the Tuseme club because they were finding most of the activities boring and monotonous. Use of the television set to watch films on issues that affect children has proved to be the most preferred medium of communication amongst learners,” she said.

To ensure the sustainability of the Tuseme club, school authorities introduced new resource mobilization strategies to fund the activities.

Seke Mhuriimwe school head, Mr Daniel Sundire said that he availed land to the club members after noticing their commitment in addressing challenges faced by learners.

“The club members grew maize and sweet potatoes on the piece of land that was availed to them. We have plans to invest the takings from sweet potatoes and fresh mealie cobs into poultry production so that we ensure the continuous existence of the Tuseme club.

Mr. Sundire added that Tuseme club is also into sewing uniforms to assist vulnerable children with uniforms and school fees. He said that the initiative is being implemented through two former learners who were identified and received mentoring on sewing.

A Tale Of How Water Has Transformed A School In Shamva District.

Towards Resilient Communities with Health, Equity  and Safety for all (TORCHES) project which is being implemented by Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI)  in partnership with Action Aid Zimbabwe (AAZ), Family Aids Counselling Trust (FACT) and Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe (LCDZ)The TORCHES project is  aimed  at creating communities where women and girls are free from violence and have amplified voices and agency. It is using a whole community approach to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and amplify girls’ voices.  This approach is using a gender-power analysis through school-based initiatives like Tuseme /Let us speak out and community mobilization activities to challenge the root causes of inequality for women and girls and high rates of VAWG.

National Level Advocacy with Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education

National Level Advocacy with Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education

Learner representatives have pleaded for interventions that can solve the issues affecting their access to quality education.

The plea was made during an online high-level advocacy meeting with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee (PPC) on education organised by Forum for African Women Educationalists Zimbabwe Chapter (FAWEZI).

Chief among the challenges highlighted include long distances to school, virginity testing, lack of ICT infrastructure and sexual exploitation among others.

The event was meant to draw the attention of policymakers to the challenges being faced by learners.

The learners, drawn from 10 project schools in Shamva, Chitungwiza and Nyanga districts highlighted that lack of birth certificates was hindering them to participate in sporting activities and examinations.

It emerged that children in rural areas remain marginalized and continue to lag behind in e-learning and their education due to several challenges including lack of electricity, Information Technology Communication tools, poor network coverage, lack of equipped laboratories and libraries.

Pouring their hearts out, the learners who were interacting with parliamentarians during national-level advocacy through a virtual meeting also highlighted that long distances to and from school are fuelling school drop-outs and drug abuse.

They said, in most schools, a classroom has one textbook for the teacher and they are failing to do homework.

“Bush boarding, whereby learners rent accommodation in villages near their school, have emerged due to long distance to school. These have exposed the girl child to sexual exploitation, drug and substance abuse due to lack of parental guidance,” they said.

“Most rural schools are not electrified, there is poor network coverage and we don’t have ICT gadgets and data for e-learning. The digital divide with our counterparts in urban areas is wide.

“Poor infrastructure and bad road network has seen a massive exodus of teachers in rural schools and the end result is poor pass rate for us. We lose a lot of learning time while fetching water for household chores or travelling to school,” they added.

Girls in Shamva said they are traumatised by virginity tests still being done to them by elders and family members in their communities.

The event was held in line with clubs created in project schools under the TORCHES project that is aimed at creating communities where women and girls are free from violence and have amplified voices.

The event drew participants from 15 project schools, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education (MoPSE), the Department of Social Development and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on education and other organisations.

Seke Mhuriimwe Tuseme club members harvesting fresh cobs for sale to fund the activities of the club

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