HOCIC empowers community to combat GBV

Women from Bulilima District have hailed Hope For A Child In Christ (HOCIC) for capacitating them with knowledge on how to address and reduce Gender Based Violence cases in their community. 

The organisation trained several gender champions under the Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS) who have been playing a pivotal role in raising awareness in reducing GBV cases in the area. 

In a sideline interview with CITE at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against GBV in Bulilima district, Matabeleland South, the gender champions said since the intervention, there has been a notable reduction in the prevalence of GBV cases in their community. 

The launch was hosted by the Ministry of Women Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Public Service, Hope For A Child In Christ (HOCIC), Zimbabwe Health Interventions (ZHI), Hand in Hand and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). 

One of the gender champions, Babazani Nkiwane, of Tjaheta Village, said they have been teaching other women about living in peace and harmony in their homes and advocating for couples to end violence, especially physical abuse. 

“I have been doing this work for the past three years and I can say there is notable progress in my community. I have a close relative of mine who used to come to my home all the time because her husband would beat her. But I sat down with her and her husband and since then they have become a happy couple,” Nkiwane said.

“We have noticed, from our conversations with women in our community, that another cause for GBV is laziness. Culturally, for us Kalanga people it is common for women to stay at home and not be employed. We are expected to stay at home and look after the children. This puts pressure on men and they struggle to provide adequately for the family. I therefore encourage women to take up various projects that will enable them to have a source of income so that they can help their husbands financially.” 

Another gender champion, Sitshengisiwe Ndlovu, of Tjotala village said the program has helped empower women with knowledge on how to lead peaceful homes.

“We have learnt about the importance of taking care of ourselves and our husbands. It is not only women who are supposed to be protected from GBV, even men as well. And children. You find that there are people who cannot live in harmony with their children,” she said. 

“If you have to discipline a child, do it accordingly. You should not do it to the extent of harming the child. Being abusive to children is what leads to suicide sometimes. We have engaged our children on various occasions on which we teach them how to dress decently and grow up to be responsible adults. We also encourage them that, should they find themselves in abusive relationships, they should report.” 

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