By TARIRO MUSHORE
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of goals which were put into place as a way of ending poverty in all the UN countries, the SDGs are intended to be sustained to 2030.
Many organisations, companies and individuals are partaking in different activities which promote the SDGs ensuring that no one is left behind because the main thrust of the goals is to change the future of everyone.
Shamwari Yemwanasikana as an organization that is premised on girl’s rights has managed to shape its programs in line with the SDGs which are essential for the empowerment of the girl child in the nation.
“We have been shaping our programs using SDG 1, 4,5,10 and 16. As a case study SDG1 has seen us coming up with initiatives which would economically assist the girls and women we work with in the community”, said Ekenia Chifamba.
Due to the current economic situation vulnerability of women and girls has increased due to poverty therefore economic strengthening activities gave women and girls self- dependence and promoted them in becoming sustainable pillars in their communities.
In addition to that, the above mentioned SDG and 13 has also seen the organization being innovative to alleviate period poverty by sewing re-usable sanitary pads. The Reusable sanitary pads training promoted menstrual hygiene thus promoted SDG3#good health and wellbeing.
“We have also provided sexual reproductive health rights information which empowers our girls to make informed decisions about their sexuality,” said Ekenia Chifamba.
“We also managed to train our girls from the Dandaro Revasikana platform poultry projects, market gardening, drying fruits and vegetables that also involved teen mothers in Seke, and Murewa. These livelihood skills would take them a long way in life”.
Shamwari yemwanasikana supports gender equality, SDG5, as evidenced by their programming which places the girl child at the Centre as a way of bridging the gap that was created a long time ago.
As a way of making sure that the same mistake would not be done, their programs introduced the involvement of males to harness positive masculinity which promotes gender equality.
“We therefore have an educational program we conduct in schools which focuses on both boys and girls as change agents” added Ekenia Chifamba.
Through the Peace and Change maker Generation the organization has managed to shape the program using SDG1. Children both boys and girls have been capacitated with information which is essential for them to respect wildlife rights.
This program also focuses on the traditional leaders as well as important decision makers in the community. This has resulted in communities being able to introduce safer ways of dealing with human and wildlife conflicts especially elephants which raid their fields. Now communities act on the right decisions when dealing with their environment, both fauna and flora.
After being asked how their organisation’s line of work help in promoting the SDGs Ekenia had this to say “In line with the SDG 1, we have managed to train the communities about sustainable food source by gardening. Also, through gardening they can earn money to cater for their day to day expenses as well as paying for their school fees.
In the same sense by market garden, our children have access to quality education as well as curbing poverty. One of the underlying causes of child marriages being poverty, through our programming we have managed to use SGDs to shape our solutions for risks which would worsen girl’s vulnerabilities”.
Through the Dandaro Revasikana sessions and men and boys forum they have managed to create equal opportunities, end child marriages and creating equal opportunities regardless of gender and beliefs. This has developed the communities and mobilized people of authority to make it each and everyone in the community to take part in protecting the girl child.
“We have also developed the health conditions of girls through education on menstrual health and sexual reproductive health. This has reduced the situations of sexual exploitation and rape as girls are now empowered on how to negotiate for safer sex as well as stand for themselves in cases of abuse” Ekenia added.
As an organization, all the work that they do, according to them, feeds into the SDGs which are essential for the development and protection of the girl child who is their primary beneficiary.
They have shaped their programs targeting different SDGs hence that have seen to grass root communities having knowledge on these goals.
“We have raised awareness in different communities on issues to do with gender equality through awareness campaigns, Dandaro Revasikana sessions, men and boys forums, CDC capacity building sessions. In these sessions we train on issues of child exploitation and the importance of abuse.
These sessions have helped to end child abuse, child marriages and child sexual exploitation. Also, we harness positive masculinity through our male champions in the communities. In these sessions we are advocating for equal rights for every child, responsibilities that come with being a guardian to a child.
Children should feel safe with adults around hence teaching males and other adults on how to protect children will bring about serenity in the society,” said one of the internal publics at Shamwari yemwanasikana.