Raeley King – Women for Change http://www.wfc.org.zm Women and Men - Equal Partners in Development! Wed, 08 Nov 2017 09:49:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Empowered women taking leadership roles in communities http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/empowered-women-taking-leadership-roles-in-communities/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:57:36 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=665 Read More

Alice Njovu is Chairperson of Mumbwa District Development Association (MUDDA). As MUDDA Chairperson, she overseas over 10 Area Associations and over 100 groups comprising 35 to 40 persons that were formed by Women for Change (WfC).

MUDDA was formed by WfC in order to promote gender equality in Mumbwa rural areas.

Today, Alice has mastered the art of being a leader and doesn’t wait to take up leadership roles following capacity building that she has received from Women for Change for over 12 years now.

Far from who she was before WfC training, Alice is now a leader and decision maker in her community. She is Vice Chairperson of Kapepe Village Action Group (VAG).

As a leader of the VAG, Angela participates in decision-making regarding use of natural resources in her area and surrounding villages.

She takes part in approving  projects that support income generating activities for communities and contribute to conserving the forest. Among the projects she approves include bee-keeping, carpentry and food processing equipment called Yenga Press which is used to produce cooking oil from sun-flower.

Angela said she also participates in approving provision of input that include sesame seed which is also used for cooking oil production. She explains that Kapepe VAG has 12 groups which are involved in different income generating activities.

The VAG are part of the Community Resource Boards. Kapepe is 55 kilometers west of Mumbwa District. To ascend to the position of Vice Chairperson on Kapepe VAG, Angela has to campaign for members to vote for her.

Besides being Vice Chairperson of Kapepe VAG, Angela is the Treasurer of Kapepe Primary School and in addition is Head of the Girl’s Club where she conducts awareness on child marriage, gender equality and early pregnancies. Angela was elected to the position she holds at the school during the general meeting.

She expresses gratitude to WfC for the capacity building that she went through which had resulted into her taking up other leadership roles. Angela joined WfC in 2003 and was trained in Phase One to Four of leadership, human rights, children and women’s rights, gender and civic education, advocacy.

WfC believes that empowered women and communities can contribute to sustainable development as the potential of women and their views are taken on board and addressed at decision making and implementation.

Veronica Nyirongo working towards her dream of being a teacher http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/veronica-nyirongo-working-towards-her-dream-of-being-a-teacher/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:54:48 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=661 Read More

Females and males in rural areas are less educated than their urban counterparts. The median years
of schooling are 3.0 and 3.7 years for females and males, respectively, in rural areas compared with 6.4
and 7.2 years, respectively, in urban areas. This is according to the 2013-2014 Zambia Health Demographic Health Survey Report.

This situation is sad considering that education is key to one realizing their full potential and attaining a level playing field where one can compete on equal basis with others for better jobs or indeed producing better ideas that are well paying.

However, reports indicated in the Zambia Demographic Health Survey that wealth exerts a positive influence on educational attainment and that females from the highest wealth quintile are more likely to be educated than those from other quintiles indeed show that education is not easy to access for those with less resources or in poverty.

Considering that poverty levels in Zambia are standing at 60 percent according to the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey of 2010, this means that the number of Zambians who drop out of school or fail to access education is also high. Access to education especially secondary and tertiary is even more challenging.

This situation is worse in rural areas where poverty levels according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) stand at 78 percent in rural areas and 28 percent in the urban areas.  In Zambia, poverty is defined as lack of access to income, employment opportunities, and entitlements, including freely determined consumption of goods and services, shelter, and other basic needs.
Women for Change (WfC) and VIDEA its partner also view education as a key factor to poverty reduction and attainment of development for families, communities and a nation. WfC believes that an educated mind produces better ideas, an educated person makes better contribution to society and also is far much better able to provide for themselves than one who is not.

To this end, WfC has been providing direct education support to 14 orphans and vulnerable children coming from rural areas with support from VIDEA.  Some of these children are either at secondary schools, colleges or universities.

WfC caught up with two of the children it is providing support to. These include Veronica Nyirongo and Komani Phiri.

Veronica Nyirongo is 18 years old and is from Chidumbu Village in Ludanzi district. She went to school in Lundazi. Her journey to attain secondary school education was not easy as her parents are peasant famers. As she spoke to WfC she recounts that five teachers at her former secondary school called Emusa Secondary school used to contribute personal money to pay for her school fees from grades 10 to 12.

“ After writing the exam, I got my results that indicated that I had obtained 18 points but my  parents were unable to send me to college even if I had been accepted because they did not have money.” She said,

Veronica was assisted to apply for college by her cousin and she was accepted to study at Evelyn Hone College. However, her future dreams of becoming a teacher hand in the balance because of lack of funds.

“I feel so lucky and happy that after approaching Women for Change with my results and acceptance letter, they agreed to fund me. I am happy that the Chairperson of Chinkamu Area Association was able top recommend me to WfC for support and now am working towards becoming a teacher in order for me to impart knowledge and help others like I was helped.” Veronica smiled.

And WfC Executive Director, Lumba Siyanga expressed happiness at the development and said her organization is proud to associate itself with the changed life of Veronica and other young persons the organisation was supporting with the assistance of VIDEA.

She added that looking at one of the young persons WfC has sponsored to school and is now an accountant is a major milestone.

WfC has been sponsoring Komani Phiri also from Lundazi to study accounts and he now has a licentiate and technician certificates. Komani’s dream has become true of becoming an accountant.

However, his beginning was not so different from that of Veronica in that his parents were able to support him until grade 12 but were unable to raise college fees for him to carry on with his education of obtaining a professional qualification.

Komani is currently undertaking internship at Women for Change in order to gain work experience and also delighted to practice his profession.

The internship is also meant to build his confidence levels and improve his knowledge on workplace cultures.

Changing lives through education http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/changing-lives-through-education/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:49:07 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=658 Read More

One World Bank study found that for every year of education a girl receives, her life-long income rose by 18% – with a vast impact on economic growth.

Indeed, “The evidence is very clear: when we invest in girls’ education and we embrace women in our workforce, that does not just benefit them, it benefits all of us”, United States First Lady Michel Obama adds.

Based on the above, WfC with support from VIDEA has been providing direct education support to several youths and the organisation was happy to learn that two more girls have completed their secondary education under its Orphans and Vulnerable Children direct education support.

Tisa Mtonga and Agness Banda completed their grade 12 last year and had very encouraging results reveals WfC Seniour Animator Chris Singelengele .

“Agness excelled with high grades in Mathematics, English and Science; she got a total of 15 points which is Division One (1) in the Zambian academic context. She is the first girl in the area to get a division one and to have completed grade twelve”. Chris said.

Agness is currently offering her services by teaching a grade four class as an untrained teacher, but plans to go to nursing school, which she absolutely has the grades for.

“She has given the WfC/VIDEA partnership the pride and encouragement to continue to fundraise for such bright girls, as this will continue to encourage female education in communities, which is in line with the National Education System that encourages girl child education.” Chris adds

Even more encouraging Chris said is that five students under the programme are currently attending university or college.

He said that Gift is training as a Medical Doctor at Apex University, Bertha Mukonda is at University of Zambia studying to be a Secondary School Teacher, Michael Namitondo is at Copper Belt University studying Forestry, Veronica Nyirongo is at Evelyn Hone and is studying to be a Secondary School Teacher while Michael Phiri is at Ukwimi trades institute Studying General Agriculture.

Basket Weaving Project enhances access to girl education and poverty reduction http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/basket-weaving-project-enhances-access-to-girl-education-and-poverty-reduction/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:46:26 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=654 Read More

Kebby Lingomba Mandandi is the father to Mebelo and is a basket weaver who is not formally employed.

“I educate my children through basket weaving. So far two of my daughters have completed school. I can proudly say that the first daughter to complete is now a Police Officer.”

He says that his daughter completed school through the money he raised from basket weaving. “I wish to thank VIDEA for buying baskets from me and the rest of the women in the area association. I wish VIDEA continued existence so that they can continue supporting our Basket project. By doing so I will be able to educate the other two of my daughters who are still in school.”

Mebelo, is daughter to Mr. Mandandi and she had this to say, “I completed grade 12 last year 2015 and I will definitely go to college. I attribute all this to my father who managed to pay for my school fees through basket weaving. I was not going to complete school had it not been for his involvement in basket weaving. I am happy that my father is a basket weaver otherwise I was going to stay home without completing school.”

The help being offered by Victoria International Development Education Association VIDEA through WfC in Zambia is truly having a positive impact on people’s lives.

Enhanced gender knowledge has reduced GBV cases – Traditional leader http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/enhanced-gender-knowledge-has-reduced-gbv-cases-traditional-leader/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:41:17 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=651 Read More

Headperson Lukezo of Chiteu camp has thanked Women for Change (WfC) for contributing towards reduced incidences of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in his area through a project called Mawa.

Headperson Lukezo said there was a reduction in GBV cases related to income and other productive resources in families because WfC had introduced joint planning in families under the Mawa Project.

“This is the first time I am spending the whole rainy season without hearing many gender-based violence cases, compared to past seasons where I had more than 30 cases.” He said.

Headperson Lukezo added that marriage dispute cases had also reduced because couples were educated on gender, which has levelled the playing field between the partners resulting in joint decision-making and assisting each other more equally with the house work.

WfC through the Mawa project seeks to address gender inequities through community and household engagement.

WfC’s role under the project is to enhance women’s participation in decision-making at household (HH) level over productive resources and to encourage men to participate in household chores in order to reduce the workload for women.

The objective of enhancing decision making at household level for women over productive resources is to help curb malnutrition which arise from poor decision at family level.

The Mawa project is being implemented in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, Caritas, Golden-valley Agricultural Research Trust, University Research Company with funding from the United States Agency for International Development in Lundazi and Chipata districts of Eastern province.

Other activities that were undertaken included training of traditional leaders and Area Associations (AAs) in gender. Conducting Community dialogues and household engagements to break the vicious cycle of gender inequality in the households.

Community led- Sustainable Forestry Management takes off http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/community-led-sustainable-forestry-management-takes-off/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:36:27 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=649 Read More

Women for Change is implementing a one-year project called Community led- Sustainable Forestry Management project with funding from Counterpart under the Fostering Accountability and Transparency (FACT) project.

Its objective is to facilitate the involvement of local communities, traditional institutions and other stakeholders based on equitable gender participation to achieve sustainable forest management.

The project focuses on improving service delivery through increased community participation in the management of natural resources.

To kick start the project, WfC officers, Mutinta Malumo and Alfred Simaye travelled to the implementation target area located in Eastern province in Petauke district where the organization undertook community awareness and advocacy meetings which were held in Sandwe Chiefdom from 27th January to 10thFebruary, 2016.

The advocacy meetings were held with various stakeholders in the district that included traditional leaders, government forest departments and civil society organisations that promote sustainable use of natural resources.

Among the stakeholders met were the District Agricultural Coordinating Officer (DACO) who was sitting in for the District Commissioner (DC), the District Zambia Wildlife Authority Officer who expressed concern over the destruction of trees which had destroyed the bushes, exposed the environment and driven wild animals far away hence making game ranging and tourism difficult.

The other two meetings were with COMACO and His Royal Highness Chief Sandwe who asked the organization to carry out community sensitizations in all the areas of his chiefdom.

The Chief was emphatic on the need for preservation of forest in his chiefdom. He gave examples of how trees had been destroyed in the neighbouring chiefdoms of Nyampande, Mwanjabantu, Mumbi and others.

He, however, added that his chiefdom was rich because it still had thick forests hence the need to protect it as soon as possible and he indicated readiness to work with WfC to see to it that his community manage the forestry well.

The Chief gave ten areas that he thought needed much attention and these are Chizalira, Sopa, Ukwimi A, Mwanika, Chibale, Mutondo, Sichilima, Musapenda, Musazala, Chibamba satellite and Chikoba.

Following a series of meetings with various stakeholders, WfC also undertook community sensitization meetings on the project in Sopa -Mpasi Village, Chiwale, Sichilima, Mwanika, Msazala, Msapenda, Chibambe, Chizalira, Mtondo ares.

Key achievements of the initial activity include acceptance of the project by stakeholder, improved knowledge on the importance of the forest in their livelihood.

Meanwhile, the visit revealed that the majority of women have not been able to access information and are unaware of some changes that have been put across by the government to protect and promote their rights due to cultural practices that limit their ability to seek information.

The project will therefore provide the people of Sandwe a good platform to access information and learn about community-led forest management. This will result in citizen action where people are able to demand for information or some justifications and demand for better services.

This in turn will help the service providers to make the information accessible to the intended parties on time.

Advocacy & Self-help for Improved Access to Health – Chitukutuku Area Association women lead the way http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/advocacy-self-help-for-improved-access-to-health-chitukutuku-area-association-women-lead-the-way/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:32:47 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=645 Read More

Access to health; especially to sexual reproductive and under-five health care are imperative to reducing high maternal and infant mortality.
According to the United Nation’s Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 591 maternal deaths occur per 100,000 live births while the infant, neonatal and under-five mortality rates are at 70, 34, and 119 per 1,000 live births, respectively in Zambia.
The organization says the mortality rates are unacceptably high and the major causes of child mortality are malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malnutrition, and anaemia including HIV and AIDS. Malnutrition has been on the increase and is attributed to the worsening poverty levels and increase in food insecurity, as well as suboptimal infant and young child feeding practices.
UNICEF further indicates that in Zambia, only 47 percent of births are attended by a skilled health worker at health institutions. Home delivery is high and stands at 53 percent. Communities in rural areas have limited access to health care.
The UN says it is currently, estimated that in urban areas approximately 99 percent of households are within 5 kilometres of a health facility, compared to 50 percent in rural areas.

The leadership of Chitukutuku Area Association led by its female Chairperson Mrs Grace Nachiibanga and her Treasurer Mrs Brenda Chibumba Mweemba realized this aspect and did not sit idle when they noticed the lack of a close by health facility.

To address the challenge, the Association wrote a letter to St Pauls Mission Hospital that was established by the Catholic Church requesting them to spread provision of similar services in the area in order to cut the long distances community members covered to access the hospital which resulted in death of many patients.

“We wrote the letter and they presented our case to government and district level which is also helping the St Paul’s Hospital and they agreed to be providing services every last Friday of the month.” Brenda told WfC.

She added that her Area Association believes in the participation of the community to address their challenges and they thus mobilized the community and managed to mold bricks made of mud which they used to build two consultation rooms, a grass thatched waiting shelter, and a maternity consultation room.

“Though the structures are made of mud materials, the communities are able to access some help, we hope to use cement and better building materials and increase water supply in future.” She explained.

She informed WfC that they have named the Clinic Chitukutuku Clinic which has been running for over two months and started operations in 2015.

Brenda and Grace are proud to have contributed to better access to health services in their community and surrounding villages. The health services include under five clinic, anti-natal and general health services.

The determined Chairperson and Treasurer of Chitukutuku Area Association also indicated that their efforts in future would be to ensure that the Clinic is fully operational and services the areas twenty-four hours as sickness does not knock before it comes.

The self-help efforts by people of Chitukutuku are indeed a welcome move that needs to be embraced across the country to help address the above worrying statistics regarding mothers, children’s health and general adult health.

Creating women leaders at grassroot levels – breaking the barriers http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/creating-women-leaders-at-grassroot-levels-breaking-the-barriers/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:24:04 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=641 Read More


Several factors affect women’s ability to take up leadership positions at various levels in different segments of the Zambian society, which is governed by a dual legal system that includes statutory and customary laws.

The statutory laws in Zambia are silent on gender issues and at times gender-blind, while at customary level it is quite clear that a woman’s job is to take care of the family and decision making should be left for the man.

While several laws and policies have been put in place, including the establishment of a gender ministry in 2012, Zambia is still grappling to attain gender equality in leadership because of its cultural practices, which provide early socialization messages on gender before people enter formal education.

While formal education does influence the members of the Zambian society that are able to attend, the residual socialization still returns to haunt many elite or educated women when they get married or go through various key stages of life. During marriage, these elite undergo cultural initiation which reinforces the tradition of the man being a leader and women as followers. This includes transition from childhood to adulthood, and attainment of parenthood.

Gender inequities in Zambia has resulted into most women being impoverished, facing the lowest education levels, and failing to fully participate in the governance of their country despite it being a democratic state.

Having noted this block in gender equality and hindrance in the ability of women to participate in leadership, Women for Change has embarked on advocacy work to change the discriminatory cultural practices that have resulted into women’s inability to actualize their full potential in life.

Women for Change (WfC), with support from We Effect, has been undertaking social empowerment and gender sensitizations in six rural areas of Central Province since 2014. The areas are located in Kapiri, Mposhi, and Mumbwa districts. These areas have lower literacy levels and the main leadership is customary, consisting of chiefs and headpersons.

Through this project, WfC has managed to increase knowledge levels and improve behaviors in the target communities towards gender equality- positive change is evident. The traditional leadership as well as women and men in the community have changed their perspective on women holding leadership positions. They now allow women to be leaders and in fact have elected or nominated them to various leadership positions. Female headpersons are also increasing in numbers, in comparison to statistics from the past few years. Two female headpersons have been appointed and these are headperson Shimkamba and Kapapa.

WfC managed to attain this firstly by taking an affirmative action which ensures that positions of chairperson and treasurer in all community structures formed with the help of the organisation are taken up by women. As a result, the chairpersons and treasurers of groups, Area Associations and District Associations are female.

This is deliberate as it begins to alter the normal traditional practices and allows the community to begin to see it as a norm for a woman to be a leader thus creating a new culture or norm in target areas. These women also become role models for their communities thus acting as a catalyst for women in rural areas to aspire for leadership.

Women in leadership roles under WfC develop confidence, and continue to take up other leadership positions in their communities through vying for elections because the community has recognized them as leaders by virtue of them being leaders under WfC structures. Many of such women have proved to be amazing role models, delivering education to the community and strengthening their personal skills.

Another approach is through advocacy work by conducting engagement and sensitizations of communities and traditional leaders, who then begin to endorse the benefits of women’s participation in leadership within their communities.

WfC also engages the third level advocacy which is done at national level with government through lobbying for policy and laws that seek to promote gender equality in Zambia.

The change can be seen in many parts of the areas where WfC has undertaken its work. One good example is Kapiri Mposhi in Chibongolwa Village where WfC’s Chitukutuku Area Association is situated. Under this Area Association, Grace Nachiibanga Siachitema is a member of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for Chitukutuku Primary School and Chairperson of Chitukutuku WfC Area Association.

Grace explained that she was chosen during a general meeting of the school because the community identified and appreciated her leadership under WfC.

During an interview with WfC, Grace revealed that she is able to participate in decision-making on matters of education at the school offering grades one to seven. The school covers 15 villages and has six classrooms with a total population of 402 pupils.

She explained during the tour of the school that the main challenge being faced by the school is insufficient teachers’ accommodation which hinders the increase in number of teachers at the school.

She said the lack of sufficient teachers was affecting the quality of education of the pupils and has impeded the ability of many adults who want to return to school through night school because the teachers were few.

Grace stated that she has been one of the contributors to the idea of constructing more teachers’ houses which currently stand at two.

Her contribution and participation in the PTA are yielding results; she has been part of the decision and implementation of the plan to construct more teachers’ houses. “We have so far made over 500 blocks while we have already put up the foundation for the third house and our aim is to build five houses”, she says as she points to the bricks.

Grace added that the next plan of the PTA is to construct a library for the school, which currently has two toilet blocks for boys and girls. It was also recently plastered and they have been able to engage the District Education authorities to allocate resources to improve the school.

Chitukutuku Primary School was constructed in 2004. Before then, children from Grace’s village and surrounding areas used to walk long distances to reach school, which took up to four hours of walking.

Villages in Zambia are rarely serviced by local transport and mainly rely on informal modes of transport such as old lorries/trucks or vans. Bicycles are the main form of transport when the whole family, especially breadwinners or parents, need to shuttle long distances to purchase farming inputs and other home requirements to the nearest district headquarters.

Women for Change with support from We Effect has managed to empower 142 women with leadership skills and provided them an opportunity to become leaders through the formation of 71 groups which are led by female chairpersons and Treasurers.


Increasing Access to Justice in Rural Areas for Survivors of GBV project welcomed by stakeholders. http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/increasing-access-to-justice-in-rural-areas-for-survivors-of-gbv-project-welcomed-by-stakeholders/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 08:05:32 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=637 Read More


Traditional leaders, government entities and communities of Kapiri Mposhi, Lundazi, and Mumbwa districts have welcomed the project to fight gender based violence (GBV) in their areas using a community-led approach, funded by the European Union.

The project titled Increasing Access to Justice in Rural Areas for Gender Based Violence seeks to align traditional practices to national Anti-GBV laws. This process requires continuous engagement with traditional leaders, which shall culminate into a code that the chiefs will sign as a show of commitment to abolishing harmful cultural practices that promote or cause GBV in their chiefdoms.

Additionally, the project will address gaps in service provision in rural areas to survivors of GBV by training community members in counselling and legal right regarding GBV. This will assist in the immediate need for victim services in rural areas while helping to spread education to rural communities on what gender based violence is, and what can be done to eradicate it. The volunteers becoming paralegals and counsellors will collaborate with the nearest Zambia Police Service Victim Support Unit, but in most cases the police are not near the villages, which necessitates the option to immediately access GBV professionals in their own community.

The process to engage traditional leaders and train community members in the named districts has commenced with the next phase, undertaking the “train the trainers” model where citizens are given skills that they can eventually pass on to others in advanced stages.

Women for Change’s approach under this project of increasing access to GBV also includes raising awareness in communities on what constitutes GBV, how justice can be delivered, and how communities can discard harmful cultural practices that cause violence, inequity, and discrimination in their homes and communities.

In addition to community-led sensitization meetings, WfC will build capacity of communities by recording audio material for airing on community radio stations in local language in order to improve education around GBV.

At the end of the project WfC hopes to increase the capacity of 40 area associations (comprised of ten community groups, each comprised of ~50 members) and 180 traditional leaders to address GBV in their communities . Additionally, WfC will work towards ensuring that 9 chiefdoms in 4 districts adopt new anti-GBV measures.
The project in Lundazi is being spearheaded by Mr Chris SIngelengele, Mr Alfred Simaye in Mumbwa and Harriet Sichone in Kapiri Mposhi District.

Community-led anti-GBV fight takes root in Chiefs Kalindawalo and Nyampande’s Areas http://www.wfc.org.zm/2016/09/09/community-led-anti-gbv-fight-takes-root-in-chiefs-kalindawalo-and-nyampandes-areas/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 07:55:24 +0000 http://www.wfc.org.zm/?p=632 Read More


Anybody who has been in a remote rural area will attest to the difficulties that gender based violence (GBV) survivors especially women and children face in accessing justice.

For most of the survivors, access to justice is simply not there due to several factors such as long distances to service providers, customs, poverty and low awareness levels.

For this reason, Women for Change (WfC) with support from United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Zambia has facilitated the establishment of village-led anti-gender based violence (GBV) “One Stop Shops”.

One Stop Shops are centres where there is a multidisciplinary provision of care for victims: counseling for their psychological well-being, legal advice on what constitutes GBV, collaboration with the Zambian police, and supportive accompaniment during the court process, if victims decide to bring the case to the justice system. So far, eight One Stop Shops have been established in five Provinces.

Women for Change, led by its board member Wendy Mwanza, undertook visits to two chiefdoms in Eastern province to monitor the effectiveness of the initiatives and were pleased to learn that the initiative is exceptionally successful.

At the Misolo anti-GBV One-Stop Shop in Chief Nyampande’s area, WfC found that villagers who have been trained as paralegals and counsellors have been effectively providing legal advice and counselling services to survivors of GBV. This has resulted in two convictions and many reconciliations in their communities. The volunteers are happy to make the contribution to reduce GBV in their villages.

One of such volunteers is Smart Zulu who works at Misolo One Stop Shop as a paralegal; he is proud to serve his community voluntarily. At the time WfC was making the visit, Zulu was attending to a woman who came to seek legal support.

“People really come here and sometimes they bring even matters outside GBV, to encourage people to use the center for GBV, we don’t turn away other clients but we make referrals to ensure that their requests are attended to by relevant and competent service providers,” Zulu said.

Similar sentiments were shared when WfC visited Chief Kalindawalo’s Area. Women for Change was pleased to meet Bertha Nkhoma who fights GBV in her community and uses the bicycle to reach far areas to educate her community about gender inequalities.

She gives legal advice and counselling to survivors at the Kalindawalo Village Anti-GBV One Stop Shop. She is also chairperson of the One Stop Shop.

“WfC Board member Wendy Mwanza commended [Bertha] on working to serve her community without a charge. Her occupation is farming but she makes time to fight GBV in her community, this is very impressive,” Mrs Mwanza said.

Nkhoma revealed to the WfC team that the positive responses from the community for the services she is offering are overwhelming.

Women for Change provides training to communities in a manner that encourages them to find their own solutions to the problems they face.

The initiative includes the involvement of traditional leaders to fight GBV. Therefore, WfC also paid a courtesy call on Senior Chief Kalindawalo, who pledged to assist in establishing a permanent building at which the One Stop Center will be situated. His Royal Highnesses thanked WfC for their efforts while Mrs. Mwanza thanked him for offering one of his buildings to house the One Stop Shop for the time being.