Learning is fun!
It seems like a world ago since our last report. Much has happened and the importance of community and responding together as community has been very present with us. We hope it has with you also.
In the midst of the toughest economic times our nation has seen since a decade ago, we experienced Cyclone Idai in our Eastern Highlands region here in Zimbabwe. A cyclone with devastating effect here, in Mozambique and in Malawi. Two of our SWATT TEAM members were in Cyclone impacted areas, both managed to stay safe where whole communities were lost and our community is very grateful for that. In the midst of continuing to assist survivors of sexual and gender based violence, this beautiful community of responders decided that in spite of their own circumstances and increasing struggles with making ends meet in the already high risk areas in which they live, they had much to give. It took four pick up truck journeys to carry the clothing, blankets and supplies they gathered to be sent to support victims of the cyclone!
Our Oasis Zimbabwe CEO and another team member, both a part of the SWATT TEAMs, also travelled to assist our Oasis family in Mozambique and to support them as they dealt with the impact of the cyclone on their own lives and yet continued to give selflessly of themselves to help the most vulnerable who had been impacted in the communities in and around Biera. We were able to provide healing play for children and surviviors within one of the displacement camps, help with food disbursements, and to begin to assist the team with a plan to roll out trauma training and our unique HDP training and expertise which has been so powerful in addressing inhibiting mindsets in our SWATT TEAMs, in thier own context. Our SWATT TEAM community reached far beyond ourselves, joining in community with others.
Sadly, this was also a time we reached in toward each other as we lost one of our team and male SWATT TEAM members in a tragic accident. Community makes us vulnerable, but also makes us able in these times.
As we continue to respond to sexual and gender based violence where the SWATT TEAMs are based, we are continuing our learning. We are looking to increase, and our next target is to engage 100 men, including pivitol community leaders, as SWATT TEAM members. Additionally, we are looking to have SWATT TEAMs in 30 schools this year, empowering youth to be a part of the community of solution in disarming tolerence of sexual and gender based violence.
We are so grateful for all you have partnered in community with us to achieve. We humbly ask that you continue to do so, helping us to grow this community of action who understand the value of what you have given, but are growing more and more confident in the knowledge and value of what they are giving.
Cyclone Idai Displacement Camp
supporting food distribution to cyclone survivors
Healing Play Trainee Receiving Her Certificate