‘Communities must be empowered to end poverty’

Civic organisations say there is a need to empower communities by improving access to basic needs and humanitarian rights in order to eradicate poverty.

This comes at a time when the country joins the world in celebrating the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which is commemorated annually on October 17.

The theme for this year, “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity,” brings out the need to recall the fundamental connection between extreme poverty and human rights, assisting people living in poverty and disproportionately affected by many human rights violations.

In an interview with CITE, Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) Chief Executive Officer Mrs Mvuselelo Huni said it is important to focus on empowering communities, enabling them to come up with ways on how they can eradicate poverty.

“The main thing we do is to empower different communities, helping them to identify their basic needs so that we assist in ensuring their needs are provided,” said Huni.

“Poverty cannot be eradicated in a day’s work which is why we put emphasis on empowerment on communities.”

She said having to celebrate this day helps in talking about the issues of poverty and how communities can act.

“It is important to have a specific day to talk about poverty as it helps with knowing what can be done, we work with partners in empowering women and talking about such issues,” said Huni.

“In the Matabeleland region we assist farmers and communities overcome challenges they face such as access to water.”

She stressed the importance of being resilient in eradicating poverty in rural communities.

Plan International Zimbabwe Interim Communications Manager Grace Mazhezha said girls are mostly discriminated, suppressed by poverty and violence exclusion which is why it is important to empower them so that they recognise their rights.

“We empower children, young people and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls, exclusion and vulnerability,” said Mazhezha.

She said Plan International ensures access to basic needs of communities by promoting climate smart production methods.

“We promote conservation agriculture, multiple use of water, water harvesting techniques, production and consumption of small grains in dry areas: micro-irrigation development and rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and community- based seed production,” said Mazhezha.

She said their projects encourage communities to have self-selecting groups through which capacity enhancing activities are delivered.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.



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