Training of community cadres: Champions for Change
January 27, 2018
The 23rd and the 24th of January 2018 saw the training of the CultureACTIONs GBV Facilitators who were enrolled in a two-day GBV Training Workshop at Mazowe Hotel. The training was premised on building sustainable community actions through the equipping of ward level GBV community facilitators with the requisite skills to impact the community with competent referral systems, active GBV response and sustainable solutions to GBV problems in Mazowe. The training had a wealth of experience borrowed from the renowned culturist Farai Mupfunye the Director of Culture Fund, developmental expects Lucina Machanzi and Tendai HweHwe who were complemented by the ROOTS team. The meeting was also graced by key informants in Mazowe District who included Chief Makope, Ward 14 Councilor Karasa, Ward 22 Councilor Maparadza and Ward 31 Councilor Mazikana
The training workshop functioned as an apparatus to equip facilitators with community facilitation skills, knowledge in African Culture, social norms, knowledge of their duties, roles, responsibilities and an understanding of the program Culture Actions. The workshop took time to emphasize the need for community facilitators to understand their roles in order to fully implement their duties and responsibilities of implementing Culture ACTIONs program activities of ensuring timely referrals for HIV prevention services and post GBV services within 72 hours, supporting identification, mobilization and recruitment of adolescent girls, young women and men into GBV clubs
The need for GBV Community facilitators to poses requisite skills to capture audience attention through well prepared community dialogue sessions inspired with innovation and creativity was emphasized throughout the workshop. Thus facilitators were engaged in understanding of African culture as the African culture can be very significant in solving present retrogressive social norms through the immense potential of adopting untapped indigenous knowledge systems
Community facilitators were urged to become role models in the community so as to gain the respect of fellow community members, the principle of community facilitators practicing what they preach had deeply ingrained benefits to the program’s as the facilitators could act as mentors to the community. Facilitators were urged to support healthy family relationships in the homesteads premised on shared responsibilities in family, commitment to non-violence and desisting from treating boys and girls unequally.
Monitoring and Evaluation was identified as an important tool in examining the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the program activities in light of the specified objectives. Thus facilitators were urged to prepare and document referrals, reports and club registers. The adoption of quality standards in programming efforts during the implementation of the Culture Actions program was emphasized as the program seeks to achieve entrench sustainable community values and initiatives which exist even when the program lifespan has even expired
A 72 hour GBV emergency response function was encouraged in all the GBV desks to be established in the operating wards of Mazowe District. Community facilitators were urged to ensure GBV survivors had access to GBV services which range from family, health, legal and psycho social support. The close cooperation of community facilitators with local leadership and opinion shapers in the respective wards was identified as integral in the successful implementation of the program as the facilitators would benefit from community assets, shared lessons learnt and more coverage of the program