Zimbabwe: Eliah Kausiyo

Zimbabwe: Eliah Kausiyo

Date: May 18, 2021
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“If given the opportunity, young people can explore their potential.”

“Leadership is influence and it is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Name Eliah
Surname Kausiyo
Sex ¨ Female
  ✓ Male
Name of Organisation Chaminuka Rural District Junior Council
Designation Junior Chief Executive Officer
Country Zimabawe
Province Mashonaland Central Province
City/ Town/ Village Shamva



e.g. 00 27 82 665 1742

+263 774 592 702
Age Group (please tick) oYounger than 18 18-25 ✓ 26-40 o 41-50o 51-60 o 60 +    o
Education level Primary School   ¨ Secondary School ✓ Tertiary o Vocational  o Adult literacy o
First met GL Year 2019 Event National Junior Council’s annual conference 2019.
Encounters with GL since first meeting We then met at the forum for Junior Mayors and Junior Town Clerks’ Forum 2020.
Due to Covid19, we were then conducting Social Media dialogues.
Phone number  
Email address  
Extent of change There is a change to a greater extent
Are you living with a disability ✓ No ¨ Yes




If yes specify type of disability ¨ Physical
¨ Sensory (sight, hearing, taste, speech, smell)
¨ Learning
¨ Mental
¨ Other

I am a young boy who grew up from a rural set up. Young people from my rural community were facing so much challenges which includes teenage pregnancies, child marriages, lack of confidence, Gender Based Violence, abuses, only to mention a few. I then developed a vision which is to ensure effective participation and collaboration of young people in a youth friendly and supportive environment for young people to respond to the challenges they face in their communities, as I believed that “young people are the solution breathers.”

However, it was so difficult for me to start implementing this vision because of so many reasons. One of the most was that, I had no leadership skills and qualities. Just imagine a rural high school student from Shamva without confidence.

Leadership is not about men in suits. It is a way of life for those who know who they are and are willing to be their best to create the life they want to live.  I participated at the selection of junior councillors at our school and I was then selected to be the junior councillor for ward 3. We then went to the inauguration and I was then voted to be the Junior Chief Executive Officer for the whole district. “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” This is the time l started to believe to myself as a leader.

“Gender Links has given me another life which I wasn’t expecting in my life.  I can now speak with confidence and know what I am talking about in front of other young people. I thought I knew it all until I met with Gender Links. I then went to the Junior Councillors’ annual forum which was held in Masvingo at Masvingo Teachers’ College. It was a good opportunity for me to start to network with other Junior Councillors from different provinces around Zimbabwe. “The comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing grows there. Take the leap today!” We then had a presentation session of what we had done in our respective districts. As highlighted above,I had no confidence at all, it was so difficult to stand in front of more than 300 people having a presentation speaking English. However, I did my level best.  Unexpectedly, I  took the third position out of all districts in Zimbabwe. We were the number one out of all the rural district councils in Zimbabwe.

After that I started to have amazing and ambitious team around my network which then started to boost my confidence. I then attended the Junior Mayors and Junior Town Clerks’ forum in February 2020 which was held in Beitbridge.

Gender Links has brought about a sea change in my life.I then established a community group of young people which is known as Solace Integrated Youth Club. Solace it means a source of comfort or a source of help in times of distress in order to maintain a good sequence. I  then did so many activities as a Junior Councillor using the knowledge that I was obtaining from Gender Links. As a junior councillor as well as the director of Solace Integrated Youth Club,I participated in many civic engagement activities in my community. I attend full council meetings bringing youth issues on the decision making. We conducted a tournament sports gala which brought together youths and duty bearers to discuss developmental issues in ward 3. I also participated during budget consultation at ward level where I brought in youth issues to be prioritized in the budget. I also conducted a community dialogue to promote effective youth engagement with leaders. With my club we planted 150 trees in line with climate action. Additionally, I donated sanitary pads to vulnerable girls. During the outbreak of covid-19, I donated meals to young people living with HIV and Elderly people.

I have realized that the youths are not effectively engaged in developmental programs in our community because of various reasons. I applied for an innovation challenge at SIYA and won support to conduct a community dialogue where we discussed all those issues hindering effective youth participation in our community. My school administration didn’t support until I convinced them on the importance of the engagement and how it would benefit the school and community at large. I invited our senior councillor, local church leaders, local businessmen, local school head, local village heads, youth chairperson, local health workers and youths .As a youth, this community dialogue seemed impossible. Fortunately, I gained support from local leaders and they offered us a piece of land to establish a youth centre in ward 3.’

Drug abuse has been a lichen in making youths think that they can find solace in the ecstasy of alcohol. Political polarization is hindering meaningful youth participation. The differences leave young people unable to cooperate with each other. The environment remains very tense and is not conducive for development. Child marriages remains a major drawback. All the young people who get into early child marriages are unable to commit to development. This can be eradicated by conducting training and development workshops. Political stability should be maintained. This calls for all players to put hands together to achieve the SDGs.’

I am now the Children’s Rights and SRHR Activist and the District Focal Person for Young People’s Network on Sexual Reproductive Health HIV and AIDS. Thanks to the Gender Links for taking me this far.