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End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men

by Kwakha Indvodza (Building a Man)
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End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
End #metoo stories in Swaziland by mentoring men
A group of emajaha (young men) share ideas.
A group of emajaha (young men) share ideas.

Often more difficult to define than our other programme areas, Kwakha Indvodza’s focus on creating and strengthening social responsibility platforms lies at the heart of KI’s unique approach. After all, Kwakha Indvodza itself started as an act of social responsibility and over the years, we have designed our programmes specifically to awaken that same mixture of duty, pride and empowerment in our young men (emajaha). Since 2012 we have run projects, or elements of projects which mentor men through violence prevention, leadership, crime prevention, knowledge of the law and the importance of fatherhood.

Last quarter, I was particularly proud to see over 90 KI emajaha and 11 KI staff join peaceful marches in Manzini, Mahwalala and Nhlangano to take a stand against the ruthless killings, assaults and harassment which has come to light in every sector and every corner of Eswatini. Our emajaha marched with determination and with passion for the cause. It was not only encouraging to see so many young men actively pursuing social justice within their communities but believing that their voices mattered: that without them, the collective outrage at this brutality would be quieter and easier to ignore. Together with hundreds of women and girls, the young men of Kwakha Indvodza said:

“We will defy the stereotypes of our gender. We will not become a statistic. We will be better men than those who came before us.” Please join me in congratulating these brave young men.

Of the approximately 1400 men and boys which KI engages every month, these young men are among the most impressive, because they have made a proactive, informed choice to spend their time advocating for the improved opportunities of others and the betterment of their local communities. They prove that it does not take a trade union, or a mass rally, or even a charismatic leader to create meaningful change. We all have the capacity to do something. We can all be change-makers. What’s more, it is our responsibility. These young men’s choice to be brave and stand up for themselves and for others is testament to this. As a founder, nothing makes me more proud.

Your valuable support allows KI to keep pushing at these boundaries, to make small but sustainable attitudes and behaviour change, one individual, one community at a time. Whilst larger donor funds are shrinking, especially in fields such as advocacy, legal support and human rights literacy programmes, your support is needed now more than ever. Thank you.

Getting ready to march against domestic violence
Getting ready to march against domestic violence

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Participants doing group work during camp session
Participants doing group work during camp session

Thanks to your continuous support and generous gifts, Kwakha Indvodza is directly and indirectly changing the lives of women and girls in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). For many of you these contributions, in the grand scheme of things, may seem small. For us, and the individuals with whom we interact and engage, they are extremely crucial in challenging the status quo and addressing those beliefs and practices that promote sexual and physical violence against women in Eswatini.

Ms. Nomsa Mbuli, the Team Lead of Kwakha Indvodza’s GlobalGiving funded male-mentoring camps and other GBV prevention activities, shed some light on the importance of this project and other initiatives like these.

“I am convinced that these conversations with men make them less likely to abuse their partners. If I interact with 50 men per session, for example, that day I go to bed knowing there are now 50 more men who are less likely to carry out gender-based violence (GBV) in their communities. Information is power. This may seem cliché, but I have found and seen the power of being informed. So, before any type of initiative can be implemented, it is important to be informed, and to ensure that men are part of the conversation. I cannot overemphasize the importance of engaging men in these discussions. It is crucial in advancing gender justice and in ending violence against women and girls. Studies show that working with men and boys challenges their perceptions of masculinity; these men are also more likely to speak up about the pressures they face to display what is considered normal masculine behavior. These integrated approaches, and initiatives that bring men to the table, make men feel engaged rather than silenced.

As a result of the successful implementation of the first phase of this project, largely because of your selfless donations, Kwakha Indvodza is set to receive additional funding to expand and improve this project to a wider audience. Stay tuned for more details!

Ms. Nomsa Mbuli - Camp Team Lead
Ms. Nomsa Mbuli - Camp Team Lead
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Boot Camp in Full Swing
Boot Camp in Full Swing

Gender-based violence in Swaziland occurs at concerning rates, and often, to graphic extents. Many of these cases are perpetrated by males who are the survivor's intimate partner or close relative. Understanding the root cause of such violence, and thanks to contributions from partners and friends like you, Kwakha Indvodza was well positioned to launch this life-changing social transformation project within the border province of Motshane, Swaziland. As with border towns around the world, Motshane exhibits problems in high crime, substance abuse and elevated levels of violence.

Thanks to your kind support and that of other partners, we were able to contribute towards the engagement of more than 750 10 – 25-year-old men and boys through violence reduction “boot camps.” Following the 2018 passing of a landmark Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act in the Swazi parliament, these boot camps are designed to create dialogue and promote learning around the new law, domestic violence and sexual assault and to challenge beliefs and values that encourage men to abuse women and girls. From these camps, 15 Gender Champions have continued the awareness campaign, taking it to a national level through radio, TV and online advocacy.

We are pleased to report that changes are already being seen in the attitudes of the young men and boys with whom we interact. By the end of the camps, participants are more knowledgeable on what constitutes sexual and physical violence and demonstrate an understanding of their roles and responsibilities in preventing these types of violence especially among women and girls – through behavior change and reporting. Therefore, it is evident that your selflessness and generosity has helped to advance the cause of protecting women of girls, and to take one step closer towards ending #metoo stories in Swaziland.

 This project continues throughout early 2019 and all donations make a difference to our work. To continue to support Kwakha Indvodza's ground-breaking work with men and boys, please click here.

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Kwakha Indvodza (KI) is incredibly thankful and indebted to you, our valued supporters, for your generous contributions to this worthy cause and for believing in our vision for safer and more gender equal communities in Swaziland. Since launching this fundraising campaign in October, we are just shy of reaching 20% of our goal, a figure which we believe to be an adequate amount for implementation to commence. 

The rationale behind this is that far too many times well-intentioned organizations enter communities with one-off interventions that fail to create long-lasting impact or effect change. 20% of our goal will allow KI to run at least 3 camps, a number we feel can make a difference within communities. Thus, as we approach the new year, we have begun the initial stages of implementation and will be full steam ahead within the coming weeks.

With contributions from friends and donors like you, we are transforming the lives of thousands of men and boys in Swaziland. Currently, amongst other community-based projects, Kwakha Indvodza is successfully working with hundreds of 15 to 29 year-old males in the border town of Ngwenya towards reducing violence against women and girls, and to-date, have yielded encouraging results. Projects like these are challenging the harmful social and cultural norms that promote sexual and physical violence in Swaziland.  

Once again KI thanks you for your support and looks forward to working with and for you in the near future.

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Organization Information

Kwakha Indvodza (Building a Man)

Location: Mbabane - Eswatini
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kwakhaindvodza?lang=en
Project Leader:
Tom Churchyard
Mbabane, Eswatini
$11,399 raised of $50,000 goal
 
92 donations
$38,601 to go
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