Zimbabwe: Machiveyi Makore

Date: August 24, 2019
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Machiveyi  Makore: Driver of Change

I became a councillor in 2013. As a person with a passion for women issues, I became a member of the gender committee since our council is a centre of excellence in gender mainstreaming. This is how I got involved in gender work. The gender committee is the hub of gender activities of the council where policies, budget, work plans are approved by the council. Through the gender committee, I became a gender champion in my ward as well as at home. As stated in the above question I have greatly influenced the council’s thinking on gender issues. The committee approved all gender work plans that the council is doing now. Also, the council has an HIV and Aids Policy approved by the gender committee. I sensitized my husband and children who are now gender-sensitive and are also helping me in my community projects such as the payment of school fees to vulnerable children who are not on the council’s bursary fund.

My personal mission statement is to promote gender equality in my ward in which the girl child is given an equal opportunity to go to school as well as to reduce gender-based violence for sustainable development of ward 1. I as well carry Gender-based Violence Awareness Campaigns. I assist in Community development including construction of community hall, reforestation, road maintenance, Sexual Reproductive Health and rights in which I do awareness campaigns as well as providing transport to medical personnel who bring family planning tablets, do Immunization to children as well as growth on monitoring of the children, provision of condoms and medication to the sick. This I do on a monthly basis. As a counselor, I assist in the payment of school fees to vulnerable children. I also took part in the Construction of a computer block at Nyamangara secondary school

On challenges, most rural men do not want their wives to attend meetings on gender because they think that women are taught to rebel against their husbands. Men do shun awareness campaigns meetings so funding of programmes is insufficient.

My knowledge of human rights especially on gender has changed. I now view women as an equal person as a man. Gender-based violence as taught me that women should be empowered for them to come out of an abusive relationship.

I helped one woman who was being beaten by his husband for no apparent reason saying that she was cooking late. She could not come out of the relationship because she depended on her husband for her upkeep. I took her to GBV survivor sunrise programme where survivors are taught entrepreneurship. When she got the training she was able to start her own income project that is when she said “Kusaziva kwakafanana nekufa” meaning that she was not aware of the entrepreneurship programme and was just as a dead person. Her name is Jane of Dzvairo village.

My gender championing has changed the mindset of my family as they are helping me pay school fees for vulnerable children in the community. Headman Nyamangara of Zvimba district said, “where were you when I used to judge my people under a tree?” This was said on the official opening of Zvimba ward 1 community hall. The district education of officer Zvimba district Mr. Matsiki praised the council for coming up with a bursary fund which caters for vulnerable children. The district education of officer Zvimba district Mr. Matsiki praised the council for coming up with a bursary fund which caters for vulnerable children. Our council has a gender policy, workplace policy as well as HIV and AIDS policy. Betty Zuze of Zvandiri an NGO which deals with people living with HIV and AIDs thanked the council for its HIV and AIDS Policy as the council was now complimenting their work through this policy. On capacity building, I did awareness campaigns and internal lending savings.

I learnt that when men do attend awareness campaigns on gender-based violence there is a reduction of the violence in the communities. Through awareness campaigns, men are now helping their women to do household chores.

In future, I would want to increase awareness campaigns on GBV, Increase Funding of vulnerable children by increasing my business empire and conduct training on entrepreneurship at ward level to GBV survivors.