Christian Youth Volunteers Association Trust (CYVAT)
Website: www.cyvat.org.zw, Facebook: CYVAT, Mobile: +263 771 575 001
Operational Region: Matabeleland Region
CYVAT has been involved in child protection intervention through the protection of early child development learners at community level. This was done through awareness on the right to education and access to ECD services at community level, capacity development of ECD caregivers and facilitators.
To improve service delivery in Early Childhood Development (ECD) for school readiness for 3500 children aged between 4-6 years in Matabeleland North and South provinces by May 2019.
- To improve ECD learning environment for 3500 children aged 4 to 6 years in Matabeleland North (Lupane) by May 2019 (as we speak to date the number has increased to more than 9000 learners ECD learners who have benefited from our programs through the literacy and numeracy through this ECD intervention).
- To increase attendance to 80% for children in 60 ECD in Matabeleland North (Lupane) ECD centres by May 2019.
- To increase awareness of school readiness among school authorities and teaching staff in 60 ECDs in Matabeleland North (Lupane) by May 2019.
In 2018 CYVAT implemented a youth empowerment advocacy and governance project that was funded by PACT through Youth Empowerment for Transformation Trust (YETT). The project’s goal was to advocate and lobby for the girl child and female youth engagement and active participation in community administration through empowerment to basic education and governance. In 2015-19, the organization implemented an ECD project that supported 60 schools with infrastructure development of ECD classroom block. The organization supported 10 primary schools in Binga and 50 schools in Lupane. The program was consortium of four organization with Child Protection Society being the lead partner. In 2007, CYVAT also implemented an infrastructure project at Somgolo primary in Lupane funded by the Czech Republic Embassy. In 2016 the organization also implemented a construction project for Nakapande secondary school with funding from the Japan Embassy. This project was implemented in Binga district where two classroom blocks, a three bedroomed teacher’s cottage, furniture for over 200 leaners and 10 teachers were bought for the school. A strong room was also built and secure to allow the school to administer public examinations.
In the education sector CYVAT has provided schools furniture and stationery that is shipped by our partners from Denmark, and this really assisted, and most schools have good furniture that has assisted learners during public examination, especially primary schools. Since 2012 CYVAT has been a member of Zimbabwe Network for Early Development Education (Zinecda). This is an umbrella network organization that has ten chapters in the country that have organizations that subscribes to the organization. As CYVAT we are chairing the Mat North chapter as well, the CYVAT executive is a board member as well as programs sub-committee chairperson for Zinecda. This gives opportunity to meet the education parliamentary portfolio committee and the relevant ministry to discuss education matters which relate to ECD. Most recent was the engagement of the budget allocation with a lens on the ECD education allocation which is relatedly low considering the multitude of gaps in the education sector with regards to ECD. We also attend education working group meetings at district level and have also funded community parental dialogues with the aim of advocating for education of the child especially at ECD stage. Our campaign is to ensure that no child is left behind.
Currently we are feeding 7800 learners in Lupane from 31 primary schools. Through our partners Engineers without Borders Denmark, we have supported four schools to establish nutrition gardens that will supplement the current feeding program with very nutritious vegetables. Schools were given various seeds to plant in the nutrition gardens. The produce is for the leaners while the surplus is sold for income generation for the school. The introduction of the nutrition gardens is to encourage the school and the community to eat nutritious and healthy foods. If the schools produce beans, cabbages, carrots for example, these will make a difference to the diet of learners, hence improve their health status.
We also work with the Ministry of Health through the District Nutritionist Officer. Since last year we have been implementing a schools feeding program funded by Barnabas Fund in 31 schools. This program is assisting with epap instant porridge which has worked wonders with its nutritional value to learners. CYVAT is also a member of Nutrition Network of Zimbabwe. We are also in the Nutrition Community of Practice under Act Alliance. These are advocacy and lobby networks that try to influence change in the sector of concern.
CYVAT has also managed to work with water and sanitation projects since 2016, during the implementation of the ECD program, where some schools were assisted to construct sanitation facilitates for ECD learners. We have managed to assist schools with drilling and solarisation of boreholes (3 schools). Some of the schools had never had water for over 56 years while teachers and pupils used to walk a couple of kilometres’ just to fetch water while learners had to bring their own water. By drilling the boreholes, learners, and teachers and to some extent, the community, are having access to portable and clean water. Also, a girl friendly sanitation facility was constructed at one school to enable the girl to feel not discriminated during nature calls. District Development Fund (DDF) is also involved as a key stakeholder in the WASH component.
The organization has since 2016 assisted schools with income generation activities as part of food security and livelihoods for the learners. About 50 schools were trained and assisted with start-up funds for income generation with focus to fundraise for ECD learner’s facilitators and stationery for learners. Several schools were also assisted with seed during the farming season to produce their own food for ECD leaners, which most schools embraced so much in good farming season given the climatic conditions. In 2017 CYVAT in partnership with Engineers Without Borders Denmark invested in nutrition gardens in 4 schools and since 2020 we established greenhouses which we envision if well managed will provide supplementary food to the learners and the community at large in the four schools.
CYVAT is also experienced in conservation agriculture with focus on resilience building for communities and institutions like school.