“At the Ntengwe Drop-In Centre communities are strengthened and empowered to become active players in the knowledge-based arenas of health, rights, economy and their environment”
The quote by Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” welcomes visitors to our Ntengwe Drop-In Center in Manjolo, Binga district. For long, history has shown that rural communities in Binga district suffered from enjoying meaningful development largely because of policy implementation gaps. The consequence of these neglects resulted in rural communities lacking access to basic services such as health care, economic empowerment opportunities, policy and legal information as well as coping mechanisms. Moreover, literacy is quite low among-st the general populace and, we have since established a Community Drop-In Center to strengthen and empower the rural people, to be active players in the knowledge-based arena on health, rights, economy and their environment. Our Center offers a hub of activities and services to foster rural community development by making information and services available. Women, children, youth and men visit the Center on a daily basis to seek information and to apply it effectively in their communities. Over the past 10 years these services have created an intellectual climate which has stimulated community members, especially young people and women to take another look at their current practices and future perspectives. Information from the Drop-In Center brought about knowledge, and the well-informed community who come to our Drop-In Center is a learned community.
“Children, their caregivers and the communities embrace child protection and child rights”
We are reaching children, especially children with disabilities, their families and care givers in Binga district through the “Integrated Orphans and Vulnerable Child program” which improves children’s health and the quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children. We are making significant strides in improving knowledge and awareness on child protection and child rights and we impacted positively on providing psychosocial support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children and families, setting up reporting and response mechanisms of child abuse and improving an understanding and awareness of disability. Community mobilizers have devoted their careers to elevating the status of children with disabilities. By leveraging their own potential and fulfilling a desire to make a difference, they provide inspiration for others to follow their lead to de-mystify the beliefs of disability as they are courageously taking the initiative to pave the way for the empowerment of the underprivileged, of which women and girls constitute a substantial portion. The project was awarded a certificate of recognition of working with children with special needs. The recognition was given by the “Better Schools Program Binga” for our continued support during school merit awards and in particular the specialized needs category.
“From Self Help Groups to Cluster Level Association and Federations, with multiple impacts in Hwange District”
In Hwange district we have established over 100 women Self-Help Groups. Each group is made up of 18 to 20 members. We trained these women on how to run their weekly meetings, budgeting, savings and issuing out loans to group members. Women started borrowing from their savings for different purposes, which included small businesses, purchasing of household needs such as sugar and salt. Self-Help Groups have been formed into Cluster Level Associations and Cluster Level Associations have been formed into Federations. In Lubangwe village the Cluster Level Association created networks and relationships with different government departments to influence the maintenance of community roads and they mobilized stationery such as 900 exercise books and 300 pencils to benefit orphaned and vulnerable children at Nyongolo Primary School. The Federation level is an institution in its own right with a unique identity, it is the legal holder of the Women’s Coalition.