Today is National Youth Day in Zimbabwe. The day was proclaimed and instituted by the government in 2017 to recognise and celebrate the contributions made by youth during the history of the country as well as serve as a catalyst for the younger generation to emulate leadership values.
Since its inception in 2019, the regional, school-based programme, FutureLife-Now! has supported young people to make meaningful contributions in their schools, families and local communities. Various youth clubs established in schools have provided learners with the agency to develop initiatives which are worth celebrating. Here are just a few highlights from Zimbabwe in 2022:
Through the Boys Mentorship clubs, boys’ confidence to seek advice, knowledge and access to services has grown significantly. This was evident last year during a competition for “stories of change” where in 2021, entries were only submitted by girls. With encouragement for boys to share their stories of change and positive behaviours, the competition in 2022 received 50 inspiring stories from boys. In the stories, boys shared how they have been voluntarily accessing health services such as HIV counselling and testing, male circumcision, and attending mental health sessions. These stories have been shared with other learners to encourage and inspire them to make positive changes in their lives.
The One School, One Garden project has turned otherwise un-used land into thriving food gardens. One school’s garden produces enough to sell to fund other school initiatives. Other produce is given to fellow learners who come from more vulnerable families.
Through learnings and research based on their knowledge gained in clubs, learners in Murape Secondary School designed something they call a “tsotso stove”. The stove uses twigs instead of firewood and confines the fire flames thereby maximizing the use of energy. The use of twigs reduces deforestation which affects the climate and ecosystems. This innovative stove is now being used by communities surrounding the school.
All 10 pilot schools in Zimbabwe were equipped with a “weather station” – a mounted weather board and anemometer. The weather station reads temperature, wind speed, pressure, direction, and rainfall, and also gives a forecast. Keeping records assists in understanding weather patterns. Learners are responsible for capturing and updating the weekly weather board. Some resourceful learners take readings home and share with their families, thereby spreading knowledge about weather forecasting within the community.
#OneSchoolOneGarden #TsotsoStove #UsingEnergyWisely #KnowledgeIsPower #BoysVulnerabilities #MyStoryYourStory #StoriesOfChange