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Epworth residents walk in the shoes of their daughters

More than five hundred people gathered at Kubatana Primary School in Epworth on the 21st of December for a family awareness day by Padare focusing on challenges that young girls face with regards to their Sexual Reproductive Health.

Speaking at the event, Padare Gender and Health Programmes Officer Mr Nakai Nengomasha said the family awareness day was a culmination of a series of meetings with different stakeholders that had taken place in the area with the objective of making the community recognise and address the different challenges that young girls go through with regards to their sexual reproductive health. He urged people, especially community leaders to take time and reflect on challenges that young girls go through, in-order to prioritise and give value to what young girls go through.

Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development District Development Officer for Ruwa and Epworth Mrs Tendai Musona commended Padare’s work in the district saying the organisation had employed a unique strategy of meeting stakeholders such as young people, religious leaders, and elected leaders separately at first and then combining the groups later. She said the strategy ensured that the discussions were held freely in a non-threatening environment for all stakeholders. Mrs Musona applauded Padare for creating platforms where the community could talk openly about sexuality issues and come out with community based commitments to resolve the challenges in a non-discriminatory way.

Chief Chiveso from Bindura who was the guest of honour at the event said he was very happy to see the same programme that had been implemented in his area being replicated in Epworth. He urged Epworth residents to embrace the programme saying it had changed people’s lives in Chiveso and it could do the same in Epworth.

A councillor who refused to be name heaped praises on Padare saying there was need for close cooperation between the civil society and the council for the benefit of the community.
The awareness day also provided residents with the opportunity to get tested for HIV by providing on site mobile HIV testing and counselling.

The multitudes of people who gathered were entertained by a soccer match between two local teams ARV Swallows and PMTCT. ARV Swallows won the match by two goals to nil.

Music lovers were also treated to a live band by music sensation Itai Madzikura popularly known as Madiz who brought the house down by playing his Rhumba style music.

In attendance were people from all walks of life who included pastors, councillors, the muslim community, school going youth, parents, Civic Society Organisations and Padare Chapter representatives from Chitugwiza and Mabvuku.