Engaging For Community Change
- Parent Category: ROOT
As its founding Philosophies, TaLI recognizes the need to empower the girl child with her rights, to be a girl who can self-assert, a girl who can claim her rights in defining her own boundaries in relationships and community engagements. It is important and is enshrined in the rights of the girls in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the African Charter on the Rights of the Child as well as The Convention on the Rights of Women (CEDAW). The New Zimbabwean Constitution alludes to the rights of the girl to her own body, voice and space. We however note that for this to be a reality, we cannot afford to just focus on the girl alone, but also engage the ‘would-be-perpetrators’ in the form of the boys, men, parents, communities and the government as well as donors for the holistic realization of girls rights.
It is against this background that under the visionary of Nyaradzo Mashayamombe as the Founder of TaLI, Community is highlighted as one of the critical vehicles for change in attitudes and practices that hinder the girls from enjoying their rights. Community engagement is critical, to address the violation of the rights of the girls, to educate on the advantages of respecting those rights to community development, and as a human right for the girls. To this, TaLI works in communities through Community Peer Educators who are the Human Rights Defenders in their communities to educate, voice and monitor the rights of girls. They also act as Community Case Management System Officers to ensure the reporting of all violence against girls as well as ensuring availability of Psycho Social Support as an emergency to prevent HIV Prevalence in young girls.
In the past we have worked with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development’s Provincial, District and Ward Structures to engage in this education for the rights of girls. We have co-facilitated community dialogues with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s Department of Child Care and Probation services, The Zimbabwe Republic Police, District Offices of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to engage in Community dialogues to prevent and manage child abuse cases. TaLI in the past has also taken part in Road Shows, Exhibitions and other public platforms to generate education to prevent Violence Against Girls that lead to new HIV Infections, to usher the realization of their rights through our partnerships with some of our donors like PEPFAR, HIVOS and UN Women to mention a few.
It is every individual’s responsibility to ensure violence free communities where girls are allowed to enjoy their rights. This takes the form of every citizen reporting cases of abuse or hints of abuse that are taking place in your home, by your neighbor’s, in the street or village you live , in the neighborhood, and schools to police or organizations like Tag a Life Inter(TaLI ). These people can be relatives, neighbors, or even respected leaders, there is no individual who is above the law nomatter what their office is, it is our duty to report such individuals who may be abusing our children. It is important to note that every whistle blower is protected by both our organization or anywhere they may report the cases so that they can remain anonymous.
As TaLI our philosophy is that ‘Girls must be allowed to develop in free environments where they are safe, free to dream and become who they want to be without limitations, a world where they enjoy socio-economic rights just as boys do, a world where they should never doubt their humanity or capacity to achieve their dreams’. That world is possible when it takes all of us to allow our girls a chance at life where opportunities are presented equally. We remain committed to public education and engagement to fight for the rights of girls, so should you!.