Trinity Project Staff - November 2019
This quarter we are happy to report the success story of Anisha and her grandmother and caregiver, Chelya. Anisha was born in South Africa and was brought to Zimbabwe by her mother, Samantha, upon her return when Anisha was six months old. However, due to Samantha’s chronic illness and inability to meet registration requirements, Anisha was an undocumented citizen and subsequently excluded from education.
Chelya attempted to resolve the issue by approaching the Registrar General’s Office several times. However, her attempts were unsuccessful. In South Africa, Samantha used a pseudo-name to access maternal health. This meant that when Chelya tried to register Anisha, she could not prove that Samantha was her mother; it was Samantha’s pseudo-name that appeared on the health card, appearing that various essential registration documents did not match.
After many unsuccessful attempts, Chelya approached the Trinity Project. Owing to the strong stakeholder relationship between the organisation and the Registrar General’s Office, Trinity Project successfully lobbied for the registration of the Anisha in line with the National Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children and United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child. As a result, Anisha managed to obtain a birth certificate represented by her grandmother instead. Anisha is now a registered Zimbabwean citizen and is enrolled in school. This also enables Anisha to access her various socio-economic rights associated with health and justice.
Anisha’s case represents the many children who are at risk of having their future compromised and being trapped in the vicious poverty cycle that will increase their risk of sexual exploitation, child trafficking, sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancies, child marriages and more. Without access to identity documents, children are not visible in the eyes of the state and remain on the peripheries of official society. It means not being part of the national population register, disabling the state from providing adequate services like education and social services. They face challenges that those with access to identity documents will never face. The Trinity Project continues to work to protect and empower these vulnerable individuals.