DREAMS Changing lives for the better
Having been trained as an Out-of School club facilitator (OOSCF) in July 2016 under the DREAMS programme, Praise Muchamukarei (27) with 2 children was able to recruit over 300 adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in her ward into HIV and GBV Risk Reduction, Health for life clubs.
Praise’s husband had initially denied her the opportunity to be an OOSCF until her mother in-law intervened. Her husband’s attitude towards women empowerment has changed positively ever since Praise started to attend the training. Also the husband has seen benefits associated with the programme which include monthly allowances and the respect that Praise have earned in their society.
Through linkages and mentoring on career guidance by DOMCCP and FH1360 Officers, Praise has enrolled with the Women’s University of Zimbabwe under the block release programme studying social sciences. All thanks to the DREAMS Project.
As a result of this initiative, women have been empowered to uptake post-GBV and health services as evidenced by the increasing number of women being initiated on PrEP. “I was married at 14 and my husband works in South Africa and usually comes home on Christmas holidays. My mother in-law never allowed me to move around our village saying she was ‘keeping me safe’. When we attended the teachings together and we learnt about PrEP, she encouraged me to keep attending the teachings and to get PrEP if I wanted to. I have realised that I am at high risk of HIV infection and now I am taking PrEP and I feel safe.’’ Ultimately, through the gender norms dialogues facilitated by the trained community facilitators, these harmful cultural and religious practices that hindered women’s access to health services in Chipinge will continue to be addressed.
Changing lives: from grass to grace
‘Having operated for 10 months as a group 0f 12 youths, we managed to saw uniforms comprising of 80 slakes, 100 dresses, 100 shirts and 60 shorts’, said Lloyd Makumbe, the sewing trainer at St Theresa.
Out of the work the sewing team earned $1320 which they used to pay fees for two orphans, they saved remaining amount. The project is a blessing to most members as they are now able to meet some of their basic needs. One of the members is a young mother, she noted that she is now able to buy herself sanitary pads and food for her son.
The young mother gets a monthly income of $50 and receives a monthly allowance of $20 from DOMCCP-DREAMS projects. All in all adding up to $70 per month.
4 Star diet spreads to Mutasa District
By Shamiso Makoni
The main aim of the event was to explain what is meant by 4 star diet and also to educate the citizens of Mutasa district the positive benefits of following the 4 star diet. Health statistics showed that children in Mutasa were suffering from stunt growth hence there was need to educate the society about eating a healthy diet, not only for children but for adults as well. Although men were not part of the competition there also came to support their wives and to be educated on healthy tips.
The competition did not only empower women but it taught them how to prepare a healthy diet with variety nutrients, every meal should at least contain a snack or a fruit and cooking utensils should be kept clean always.
Amongst the audience there were two invited guests from AGRITEX (Agriculture, Technical and Extension Services) known as Nancy Mandebvana and Elizabeth Refu . The two judges were responsible for selecting and announcing the winners of the competition.
16 women competed in the food fair competition, each competitor prepared breakfast, lunch and super. The competition was categorized into 4 sections that is, section1 the judges selected 3 best winners on breakfast, section 2 selected again 3 best winners on lunch, section 3 also selected 3 best winners on super and the section 4 the overall winner of the competition.
DOMCCP sponsored the awards that were given out to winners. The best 3 winners on breakfast each got 1 hoe, 5kg fertilizer, best 3 winners on lunch each received 1 shovel and 3 assorted seeds, best3 winners on super received 1 garden folk and 3 assorted seeds and the overall winner got a wheel barrow.
Speaking to Eunice Mazambani who scoped more than three prizes including the overall winner prize she applauded the good work which is being done by DOMCCP in empowering women. Muzambani gave a brief background of her life. According to her, she was once married but unfortunately her husband passed away leaving her to carter for 5 children. Following disputes which arose between Muzambani and her in-laws, she decided to go back to her parent’s house with her children in 2014. In 2015 Muzambani decided to farm and sell the produce, luckily for her God blessed the work of her hands and was able to send her 5 children to school. ‘Zvizhinji zvandinoshandisa kurima ndinozviwana muku winner makwikwi’ (Most of my farming equipment l get them from winning farming competitions) expressed the overwhelmed Muzambani.
Lunch was served to everyone who had attended the competition. DOMCCP team did not forget the effort made by 6 participants who unfortunately did not get to be selected as winners, each one of them received a hoe and 3 assorted seeds as a token of appreciation. The above mentioned act by DOMCCP is meant to encourage those women who did not participate in the competition to participate when next an event will be taking place.
‘The way to a man’s heart is through the stomach…’
said Mr Henry Nyapokoto the Knowledge and Research Officer of DOMCCP while addressing people from Mutasa district who attended the Food fair competition on the 21st of July at Masere warehouse.