Harare street signs

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True Jack-of-all-trades. Note the bottle tops to help keep the sign up.

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Zimbabwean residents get active!

Here’s some feedback from a Kubatana member:

Pamberi neKubatana for accountability and service delivery!

Just got my Resident business card. Was sweating because I thought it was a court order given the size of the envelope.

Will put this to good use tomorrow.

Many thanks for the initiative.

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Playwright Eve Ensler is in Zimbabwe together with Monique Wilson, the Director of V-Day. Ensler’s play, the Vagina Monologues has been produced in over 140 countries and in various languages. She attributes her desire to fighting sexual violence against women to the many women who lined up to talk to her after performing the Vagina Monologues who shared stories of how they have been abuse, raped or beaten. She expected these women to share with her their wonderful sexual experiences, pleasure, desire but the opposite was what she heard.

The idea of One Billion Rising came at a time when Ensler was recovering from cancer and when she visited the DRC where women danced at the opening official opening of a centre, “City of Joy’. “Women in Congo danced, while they were dancing and I was dancing, I suddenly had this idea. I had been obsessed with this notion that if one billion women and men rose one day and danced on the planet, what kind of vibrational, energetic transformation could we have.” According to UN figures, one in three women on the planet will be beaten or sexually assaulted and that works out at one billion women.

Zimbabwe has in the past two years celebrated One Billion Rising (OBR).

The campaign which uses dance as activism has become a global movement as many men and women across the globe rise on February 14.

Speaking at a press conference in Harare, she said, “Dancing allows us to be in our bodies, to reclaim our bodies. It allows us to be free in public space and to connect with one another. It really allows the vibrational and spiritual energy of the planet to be released rather than contained. So much happens when we are traumatized, violated. All the energy gets stopped, it’s caught, it gets muted, and it gets destroyed.”

Monique Wilson added, “In Philippines, when we began dancing, people began to wake up and take notice and gave us another lens to the very same issues we have been fighting for 30 years. Dance is an important tool to awaken people and incite action.”

Speaking at the same conference, Nyasha Sengayi, the coordinator for One Billion Rising in Zimbabwe let people know about their next campaign, ‘Stop the Bus’ in collaboration with The Girl’s Legacy. A bus with a lawyer, police officer, a nurse, a counselor and women activists will be moving around communities in Bikita, Mutoko, Gokwe, Seke and Chitungwiza.

The campaign will be launched in August against a backdrop of the high number of unreported cases of sexual violence in Zimbabwe.

We got this today from a WhatsApp subscriber:

“Chegutu Municipality has contaminated Mupfure River with sewage which they are pumping into the river. At Chinhoyi Road Bridge you can see just how dangerous it is. The water is now green.”

From a WhatsApp subscriber:

“I am traveling from Chitungwiza to Harare. Now at the bridge near water works. What surprise me is that ‘ the police’ is mounting a roadblock about 20m from the bridge. Is it not a potential disaster at hand. What does the traffic safety regulation prescribe? I think there is something about it and it shld be stopped before any harm is caused. Please help”

SAPES Trust Policy Dialogue Forum

Date: Thursday 31 July 2014
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Venue: SAPES Seminar Room, 4 Deary Avenue, Belgravia, Harare

Topic: EU – Zimbabwe relations: Demystifying a few myths

Speaker: H.E. Aldo Dell’Aricca – Head of EU Delegation to Zimbabwe

Chair: Dr Ibbo Mandaza

All Welcome. SAPES Seminar Series Membership Forms available at entrance. Feel free to visit our website at www.sapes.org.zw

The BBC reports that in Burundi a bill was passed and is waiting to be signed into law, which has new regulations that require churches to have at least 500 members and a proper building.

Now I read in NewsDay that the Zimbabwe government is proposing to register churches. So if a law is passed in Zimbabwe for registering or regulating churches there will be pros and cons like any other law. On the one side of the coin, with consideration of what has been happening in our churches of late regarding the abuse of women and the clash between church members and the police, one might see such a law as the way forward.

However, such a law may further erode the right to freedom of association. I foresee the ruling party using such a law to their advantage in the next elections. They may use this law to regulate churches, which might be thought of associating with the opposition, thereby infringing on the rights of ordinary people.

An interview with Memory Zidaka

CHIPAWO benefits and empowers children and society for prosperity, unity and peace through participatory arts education in Zimbabwe, Africa and the world. CHIPAWO which literally means “give also or give too” was formed in 1989 with the vision of ensuring that through the arts children know and appreciate our local culture in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. As a child driven organization CHIPAWO’s mission is to develop excellent talent, originality, knowledge and enjoyment in the learning and practice of arts and culture.

What led to your decision to start the organization?
The idea was to give children a place where they would express their talents through learning their culture and heritage and have fun with their talents.

Who plays the leading role in this important work?
Through the passion that they have I would say the children themselves take leading roles in CHIPAWO activities. Children and youth are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the organization from administration to stage performances.

Programmes
We have an outreach programme called Bringing CHIPAWO to More Children, which seeks to benefit underprivileged children who cannot access CHIPAWO’s art programmes outside Harare.

The Arts Education for Development is a programme being run by CHIPAWO where arts educators go to different schools to teach arts to children. Through this programme children receive training in music, traditional and modern dance.

Under a one year long project called Youth Empowerment through Performing Arts (YETPA) youths go through various modules on skills empowerment in art performance and how to make a living out of the performing arts.

Do you feel that you are making a significant contribution to these children and youths?
Definitely we are. Firstly we are moulding children’s talent into becoming professional artists so we are giving them a chance to make a living out of their own talent. A CHIPAWO child has that extra confidence compared to other children!

Which success stories are you most proud of?
We have had plenty of success stories as CHIPAWO, for example we now have a television show running on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation called Ndeipi Gen’a. The show, which is about educating young people on life challenges, has become very popular.

As CHIPAWO we are proud to have some of our former students making it out there. For example, Danai Gurira is doing great in acting and Farai Ruzvidzo is producing the Ndeipi Gen’a television show.

We have had a student’s exchange program with India recently and we were invited to perform at a children’s festival in Germany last year, and CHIPAWO is currently preparing for another trip to that country next week to perform at the same festival after getting a second invite.

Every end of year CHIPAWO hosts a Christmas show where we invite other sister organisations like CHIPAWO Botswana (CHIPABO) and CHIPAWO Namibia (CHINAMIBIA) to come and perform.

CHIPAWO will be turning 25 years this year and we will be hosting the CHIPAWO @ 25 celebrations sometime in September.

Last week Chitungwiza Town Council employees ended a two week long job action amid threats of imprisonment of up to five years by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Bearing the same brunt of economic hardships being experienced by each and every Zimbabwean surely going for thirteen months without salary is enough justification to down tools. Council lawyers are arguing that there was no justification for the strike hence workers should terminate the industrial action and report for duty. Instead of engaging the workers to resolve the impasse the Minister Of Public Service and Chitungwiza town council resorted to the use of force to instill fear among the already suffering employees. By denying council workers their right to protest the responsible minister seems to be serving the interests of the town council while ignoring the plight of the workers who had to go for almost thirteen months on empty stomachs.

The BOOST (Building Opportunities on Student Talent) Fellowship was founded in 2000 as a non-governmental organization with the objective of helping young people adopt a possibility oriented approach to life so that they can find ways of living more successfully.

BOOST has been working for the past fourteen years with university students in Zimbabwe and its operations have spread to ten institutions of higher learning across the country. The initiative was started with the vision of bridging the gap between the academic and the corporate world so that students will be equipped with the necessary skills when they leave school.

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In 2005 the Boost Fellowship partnered with a global non-governmental organization called ENACTUS, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). The partnership and re-branding of SIFE in 2012, to Entrepreneurship Action in Us (ENACTUS) saw the BOOST Fellowship acting as the country office for ENACTUS hence adopting the name the BOOST Fellowship/ENACTUS Zimbabwe.

More

BOOST Fellowship – ENACTUS Zimbabwe runs various activities under five programme areas. These include the Envisioning a Possibility Oriented Approach to Life program where students build visions within themselves and engage in self-exploration.

In trying to help students develop self-esteem and confidence, the organization started the Embracing Possibility through Coaching programme.

Under the Tool Box of Career Skills programme students receive training in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career development.

Under the same programme BOOST Fellowship – ENACTUST Zimbabwe holds the ENACTUS competition every year in July where universities in Zimbabwe battle it out in a contest to develop business concepts for outreach projects that can help improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Winners of the tournament at the national level go on to represent the nation at the ENACTUS World Cup.

The Servant Leadership programme encourages students who have received mentorship and other basic life skills from BOOST Fellowship – ENACTUS Zimbabwe to reach out to other young people in Zimbabwe and impart their knowledge freely through undertaking community development work.

Major highlights
In 2005 the University of Zimbabwe won the SIFE national championships and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in Toronto, Canada to become the first African country to win the trophy. Since 2004 to date Zimbabwe has been in the finals of the competition illustrating the great impact the programmes have in the community.

Another recent highlight is the selection of four of its students from the BOOST – ENACTUS Zimbabwe programme to participate in the current Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) organized by President Obama. Out of the thirty students selected for YALI from Zimbabwe the former BOOST Fellowship – ENACTUS Zimbabwe fellow and alumni include, Tinashe Mavhengere, Tinotenda Pasi and Takunda Chingozo.

This year’s winners of the recently held BOOST – ENACTUS Zimbabwe tournament are the University of Zimbabwe who will be representing Zimbabwe at the ENACTUS World Cup to be held in October in China.

For the remaining six months of the year BOOST Fellowship – ENACTUS Zimbabwe is planning to host the Entrepreneurship Suite Challenge happening on the 16th of September and the Delta Drug and Alcohol Abuse Competition scheduled for 19th of October.