As part of ensuring effective participation ahead of next year generation elections, Heal Zimbabwe on 9 April 2022, partnered Hopley Peace Empire for an awareness concert on access to documentation. The concert was aimed at raising awareness on the ongoing mobile document registration by the Civil Registry, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Phase 2 of the Mobile Biometric Voter registration (BVR) and the work of Chapter 12 Institutions.
The concert also provided an opportunity to speak out against child marriages, child prostitution and substance abuse, the three social ills that have long bedevilled the community. On the sidelines on the concert, Heal Zimbabwe spoke to several youths who acknowledged that drug abuse and prostitution have broken down the social fabric of society and have contributed greatly to vices such as crime.”Most youths here are hooked on mutoriro (illicit drug) and prostitution hence it becomes very difficult to rally the community to effectively participate in decisions that can change their lives such as elections”, said one youth. On issues of access to documentation participants highlighted that most children in Hopley did not have birth certificates owing to early child marriages.”We welcome this awareness as a community. At least our children will get birth certificates and be able to participate in future elections”, added one participant.
Artists from Peace Empire serenaded the crowd with dances and songs that were mainly centred on fighting drug abuse and child marriages, while Heal Zimbabwe shared information on both the blitz voter registration to begin on April 11 and the ongoing mobile registration drive by the Civil Registry drive aimed at increasing access to identity documents.
The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to create dialogues among citizens as this helps to safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe