SIPD provides victims of various forms of violence in Zimbabwe with platforms to tell their stories to help them to come to terms with their victimisation. The most common forms of violence are gender-based and politically-motivated violence. The project covers 10 communities, one in each of the 10 provinces of the country, in collaboration with local CBOs and other organisations. The stories will be documented and published for wider distribution as lessons for others and the nation.
Zimbabwe is notorious for political violence, especially at election time. No official healing and reconciliation process has been held, and the perpetrators have not been brought to book. In some cases perpetrators and victims are neighbours or even close relatives. As a result new violence could be attributed to this 'unfinished' business. While SIPD cannot bring the perpetrators to book, it will help with the healing of the victims, and (where possible) reconciliation with their victimisers.
We will hold workshops for the victims to share their stories of victimisation and to support each other. Trauma counselling will be provided as needed. The stories will be documented and published in book and other forms. The book will be distributed widely to other victims and the general public, and will be used to lobby government for an official national healing and reconciliation process. Economically vulnerable victims will be assisted to start or run income-generating projects.
The project will make the 150 victims whole again, and help them regain their statuses as productive members of their families, the 10 participating communities and the nation. It will restore functional working relations between them and their victimisers, thus strengthening families, communities and their collective resilience. It will help break the cycle of violence, thereby enhancing the safety and security of the people and reducing prospects of future violence in the country.