Strategically using ICTs to amplify voices of silenced groups

Friday, August 7, 2009

CCCD launches a Communication Rights programme

The Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD) launched a Communication Rights programme in August 2009 aimed at empowering women and girls with skills to lobby and advocate for their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and to raise awareness on Communication Rights.

This programme was funded by the World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) and is aimed at complementing the Zimbabwe National Maternal and Neonatal Health Road Map (2007-2010) that is meant to provide the basis for an increased and long term investment to reduce the current levels of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity and the Maputo Plan of Action (2006), a Pan-African policy framework which provides a platform for advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Africa and seeks to take the continent towards the goal of universal access to comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health services by 2015.

The goal of the Maputo Plan of Action is for African governments, civil society, the private sector and development partners to join forces and redouble efforts so that together the effective implementation of the continental policy including universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health by 2015 in all countries in Africa can be achieved.

One of the strategies identified by the Maputo plan of Action is to foster community involvement and participation. To that end, the Creative Centre for Communication and Development will provide capacity strengthening support to marginalised and vulnerable women and girls in Queens Park East, empowering them with life skills such as self-confidence, assertive behaviour and ability to articulate sexual and reproductive health issues that affect their lives. The women and girls will also be able to share knowledge and experiences, strengthen networks at local and national level through their ability to use Information and Communication Technologies to tell their stories.

The Creative Centre for Communication and Development will also aim to improve access to accurate information about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and build Communication Rights at grassroots level.

The project will run for 12 months and will include activities such as life skills training workshops, advocacy workshops and campaigns, production and distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.

Mrs. Febie Chuma, a local Pastor commented the organisation for the programme saying that Sexual and Reproductive Health programmes were pertinent for the community because of high unmet needs for family planning and the increasing feminisation of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

‘As a Pastor I have noticed that communication within families, the community and the church on Sexual and Reproductive Health is lacking. People should openly discuss these issues because silence will only serve to condemn women to a life of misery and ill-health,’ she said.

The Creative Centre for Communication and Development is a registered charitable non-governmental organisation advancing communication rights of marginalised and vulnerable people through building their communication capacities and advocacy skills to systematically address human rights and all other fundamental freedoms.

The organisation works with marginalised and vulnerable people in the strategic and creative use of communication to express their needs, to make their voices heard, to manage their own communication, and to participate fully in their own development through implementing participatory communication approaches to change public values and beliefs that are essential for long-term social change.