Chitsotso Girls Empowerment Village-girls healing
Girl Child Network Worldwide is most grateful for the grant received of US$5000 from supporters and donors to help rehabilitate survivors of sexual violence aged 0 to 16 who seek assistance through our Girls Empowerment Villages during the period under review. The most critical part of our work was to ensure Girls Empowerment Villages facilities are renovated and extended in the hostel are so that they take in more girls. This was successfully accomplished at Chitsotso Girls Empowerment Village.
During the period under review, Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe received a total of 203 rape cases involving minor children. Three cases involved more extra work at global advocacy level because they involved high profile politicians who enjoy impunity in Zimbabwe. The team managed to rescue at least 123 of the total and ensured they received medical, legal and educational support. A profile for each girl the youngest being 3 years old was created to keep monitoring their progress with their case in the courts, hospital and police beyond the grant. This report serves to inform our donors and supporters that the Girl Child Network Team managed to ensure protection and counselling of at least 123 girls through the Girls Empowerment Villages. Shelter, food clothing and medication was provided to some girls.
Girl Child Network Zimbabwe has since submitted needs assessments of all girls assisted and realised that on average girls who have been sexually abused need at least an average US$ 500 per month for school support, medical and court attendance. What was most challenging were distances of some girls from the national headquarters. Also in some days where many girls needed shelter the human resources were limited because at the moment there is only one paid frontline counsellor and an assistant.
This grant has enabled the work in Girls Empowerment Villages to be strengthened so that we get more girls and possibly match them with some future funders as clearly a number of them and especially those infected with HIV and AIDS need long term care. The majority of girls we dealt with over the last quarter are orphaned girls who find themselves with no one to be part of their social support systems. One of them sent us a text message in its original form as follows:
Muzvare m srry 2 b botherin u bt i rily nid yr help,i nid to be assisted from my uncle raping me since last year 4 my,i dnt knw f u cn bt i beg u 2 pliz help me wth watever u hve.
If only there was no grant like this, maybe her life would have been lost. Now that we rescued her from the abusive uncle and got him arrested through emergency grants to Girl Child Network Zimbabwe, she is happily back in school. To think only 200 dollars would have made her lose a lifetime opportunity to come out of the abuse makes us feel our supporters should know how we appreciate their support and how this support comes at a time when it is needed most. There are no emergency grants for indvidual girls who find themselves in situations where they must move out.
At the moment we have started profiling each and every girl receiving our assistance but of course we will respect their privacy when sharing with the public. We will keep girls empowerment clubs where most of them operate from to keep imparting empowerment skills and knowledge so that we create platforms that help prevent abuse and start projects to eliminate poverty. Our work remained very active in all 20 girls empowerment clubs we target during this period.
We still have over 200 girls on our data base needing urgent help with school fees, medication, justice, and rescue from violent situations and we have two more Girls Empowerment Villages to renovate so that girls are safe during healing. Feel free to join our Girls Appeal Fund and be sure to get a girl who will be directly linked with you. Your support has made our work stronger and we hope you join us and be active and even volunteer so that we reach out to more girls at risk. Please send us feedback on any issue and join our global advocacy group for some cases where high profile people enjoy impunity and have become a danger to girls.
Please note we have shared some cases we are dealing with just for you to understand which girls we are currently targeting from this grant and what efforts we are making to sustain programs.
Girls Empowerment Village hostels
Art as therapy by rape survivors
Healing-youngest rape survivor -3 years old