Winter 2015 Global Giving ReportHappy New Year from us here at ZET! Thanks to your continued support - your funding is helping us to support our partners in the Trinity Project and they are making great progress. During this quarter, door-to-door consultations and home visits have been carried out in Nkulumane District, Luveve District, Emakhandeni District and Magwegwe District, and the Trinity Project Officers have managed to visit 235 parents or carers who were consulted about birth certificates. The Trinity Project’s Legal Advice Clinics are also up and running and helping people to gain invaluable support about the legal documents which can grant them an education – 3 legal advice clinics were held during the month of November, and although 39 parents or carers were reached, there is certainly more work to be done because of the prevalence of the birth certificate problem. Consultations about birth certificates are also sometimes done in the office and during this quarter, 108 partners or carers have visited the offices, which shows great progress in that our Trinity Project partners are able to make a different to some people’s lives in Zimbabwe.The Trinity Project also is holding a new Kids Club Project thanks to your support with children between 5 and 18 – child participation is encouraged and children are taught on the importance of early birth registration and of birth certificates in order to help to stop this being a problem for the next generation – teaching children early why it is important for children to register with birth certificates is vital in helping the children themselves and their children. Currently, 456 attend the project which shows the way in which your donations are having a real impact on the ground, however the club requires more funding to be able to properly fund the club’s activities like football, volleyball, netball and drama. Our Trinity Project also teamed up with Vulindlela Orphanage Care Centre and held a Kids Christmas party that 300 children attended, as a consequence of your continued support – at the Children’s party, there was a poem citing competition, apple bobbing, musical chairs and quizzes – the children all had a great time! One of the most inspiring Poem’s written by the children is below, which really shows how the other work by the Trinity Project, such as the legal centre drops in, help to solve the issues concerning children: ALLOW ME TO SPEAKBy Rivaldo Siziba VulindlelaAllow me to speakBecause I must speakUntil when shall I be deprived?Of my right to haveA birth certificateOh birth certificate!!!Oh birth certificate!!!I am a child; I have the right to identityI am an orphan; I have the right to identityWhat will become of me without a birth certificate?Oh birth certificate!!!Oh birth certificate!!!It is not my fault that I lost my ParentsIt is not my fault to be in this earthHence it is my right to live and have a birth certificate.Oh birth certificate!!!Oh birth certificate!!! Finally, Trinity Project has also been holding training workshops about the need for birth certificates - 144 participants attended aross 4 workshops, and in addition to this there were also 15 sensitisation meetings that targeted just children and taught them the importance of holding birth ceriticates.
It is clear that your support is helping the Trinity Project to challenge the generational issue of a lack of birth certficate regisetration in Zimbabwe meaning children are unable to gain orphan status, and consequently denied access to education. Your support is helping the Trinity Project to succeed so thank you again, but as you can see there are still areas where we need more help to continue this great work.
Could you spare just £12 to help the Trinity Project provide 2 legal clinics?
We are continuing to work hard to ensure that vulnerable children in Bulawayo can obtain the identity documents they need to access education. Here is a quick update from Trinity Project about what they have been able to achieve over the past 3 months with your ongoing support.
Despite these successes, there are many challenges we still face. The economic climate in Zimbabwe makes it difficult for many parents to pay the administration fees required to obtain identity documents, and as our Kids Clubs increase in popularity the equipment we have to engage with children has to be spread ever more thinly. It is therefore vital that we continue to receive your support to ensure that every child can access their fundamental rights to identity and education. Many thanks once again.
Welcome to the Summer Update from ZET.
Over the past few months we have continued to help vulnerable children in Zimbabwe to access birth certificates and other important identity documents.
In the past 3 months, another 30 cases have been successfully resolved, while we have taken on 778 new cases, the majority of which are still in progress.
We have recently introduced 'Kidz Clubs' to our programme. These clubs are a fantastic way to engage with children and it gives them the opportunity to participate more fully in the project...as well as having fun!!!
The clubs are held at various locations in the areas of Bulawayo where the project is active. They provide a space for vulnerable children meet regularly and to play and share experiences. Through song, dance, and poetry they learn about children's rights and identity rights in a way which is fun and memorable.
Since we started these Kidz Clubs attendances have been growing by the week, with current numbers being around 200 children.
See the welcome ZET representatives were given by Magwegwe Kidz Club by following the YouTube link below!
Thank you once again for your ongoing support.
Welcome to the Spring update from ZET. We've had a very busy few months! Since October, we have achieved the following results...
60 girls and 68 boys were assisted to successfully obtain identity documents!
Some were required to travel to remote areas to access their birth records – the furthest being Binga, which is 400km away from Bulawayo and very difficult to access. This difficulty would previously have deterred the child from pursuing registration, but with the support offered by Trinity Project such individuals were able to track down their birth records and become formally registered.
19,567 people attended awareness raising activities!
Our awareness raising campaigns equip children and parents with knowledge on birth and death registration and inheritance issues.
In the last 6 months we reached 2,831 parents, 9,228 girls, and 7,598 boys!
Award winning Field Officers!
In December 2013 Nkazimulo Khumalo, one of the Trinity Project’s voluntary Field Officers, was presented with an ‘Outstanding Community Volunteer’ award by Zimbabwe Democracy Development Trust, in recognition of her work with this project.
Successful advocacy with local hospitals!
Trinity Project has conducted successful advocacy work with both United Bulawayo Hospital and Mpilo Hospital, which are both now issuing birth confirmation records without requiring poor mothers to pay hospital fees upfront, which had previously been a significant barrier to birth registration.
Thembi is a 16 year old orphan who was referred to the project by the local child protection committee. Just over two years ago, Thembi was raped by her uncle, and fell pregnant as a result. She is now mother to an 18 month old baby boy.
Thembi reported the rape to the police; her uncle was successfully prosecuted and is now in jail. However, as a result of this brave decision, Thembi received death threats from her extended family. Some of these family members also illegally occupied the house which had belonged to Thembi’s late parents.
Through mediation with the family, Trinity Project was able to find a family member to speak up on behalf of the girl. This enabled us to take the case to a Magistrate, who appointed Trinity Project as the executors of the deceased estate. As a result, it was then possible to evict the family members who were squatting in Thembi’s home.
By returning the house to Thembi and her child, the project provided them with a safe place to live. Since the courts ruled in her favour, Thembi's extended family have given up their efforts to grab the property and the death threats have stopped.
Thembi was always at the top of her class at school, but the traumas she has suffered over the last 2 years have forced her to drop out of education. She is now determined to find the money to pay for her school fees so she can return to education and fulfil her ambition of becoming a solicitor.
Sadly, there are many more girls like Thembi in Zimbabwe. But thanks to your continued support, we are able to intervene and provide them with the legal and emotional support they so desperately need.
(N.B. names in this case study have been changed in the interests of privacy and child protection).
Dear Zimbabwe Educational Trust supporter,
Thank you once again for your donation, hope you had a lovely festive period. We wanted to update you on the progress of our Trinity project by showing you exactly who your money is helping! Our project manager, Mr Pumulani Mpofu, has given us this moving report from the heart of the project. Viola’s thought-provoking story highlights how deep-rooted, life-damaging and difficult to escape the birth certificate problem is in Zimbabwe. As Pumulani’s account shows, Zimbabwe Educational Trust’s work in promoting awareness about the importance of birth certificate registration is vital in ensuring that the lives of individual Zimbabweans are not damaged and their opportunities inhibited, by what has unfortunately become a cultural tradition of non-registration of birth certificates.
“Whose fault is it?” by Mr. Pumulani Mpofu, Trinity Project Leader
The Zimbabwean constitution’s assertion that each and every child has a right to learn is very much contradicted when children are without birth certificates. Some children cannot enter school at all, while those who do can’t take their Grade seven examinations, and thus are unable to gain the qualifications that they need to escape the poverty cycle. Viola is in Grade seven at Mhali Primary School, and is one of the students whose being prevented from taking their Grade seven examinations because of her lack of birth certificate. She was born on 27th November in 2002, here in Bulawayo.
She has lived with her maternal uncle since her parents died, but her uncle is also suffering as a result of the prevalent birth certificate problem in Zimbabwe. Her uncle works a variety of jobs to support his family but is unfortunately unable to get a proper job because, like Viola he was unable to sit his Grade seven exams. This was also the case for his other four siblings – their mother did not have a birth certificate, which made it very difficult for the children to get their mother’s death certificate when she died. A death certificate is essential in order to gain orphan status, which without children are unable to gain government financial support for education.
Getting death certificates can be very problematic for these families, who are already carrying the burden of a deceased relative. A search fee is required for a death certificate to be issued without a birth certificate. For Viola, her grandfather Patrick is unable to raise the money required for a search fee because of his status as unemployed, and the 10 grandchildren under his care in his Matapo rural homestead. Law also requires that, if the search fee is available, a blood relative of the deceased, preferably the parents, has to act as a witness for the death certificate to be issued. However, family disputes between Patrick and his wife’s father due to Patrick not following the proper socio-cultural marriage procedures, Patrick’s father in law will never acknowledge him. Trinity are helping Patrick, contacting his wife’s father to help Patrick gain his wife’s death certificate.
For Viola, the problem can be traced back to her grandmother. Viola’s grandmother did not live with her parents growing up, and thus the relatives that she was staying with did not tell her parents to register their child. Viola’s grandmother went to work at Matopo village, where she met Patrick. His unemployment status means he is no position to fulfil his in-law’s wish of going for formalities. All five of his children have been disadvantaged, and his grandchildren will never go to high school, and thus never get proper and paying jobs. The Trinity Project’s work in increasing awareness of the damage that not registering for birth certificates can cause, and the way it can cripple a family and prevent progress is vital.
In such a scenario, there is no utopian solution. Viola was enrolled at Mhali Primary School because her mother promised to register her before the end of her first year at Primary level, which never happened. Viola’s mother, Musa was unable to register because she herself was not registered, and neither was her own mother. The way in which non-registration of birth certificate can prevent access to the gift of education is evident.
Non-registration for birth certificates is a social, cultural and economic issue and if people are continuously given an insight regarding to how they can avert such scenarios, perhaps every child in Zimbabwe can be registered. Thus, the work of Trinity Project in promoting awareness, which is only possible through your continued support, is imperative in providing education to all in Zimbabwe.
Thank you very much for your continued interest in our project, as you can see birth certificates are causing problems in Zimbabwe to many children, just like Viola.
Communication and Operations Intern
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