Strategically using ICTs to amplify voices of silenced groups

Friday, April 23, 2010

Creative Communication Clubs

Creative communication clubs continued with their activities. Each of the four clubs managed to hold two meetings. The meetings were aimed at changing the behaviour, attitudes and perceptions that infringe communication rights of people at grassroots level and to improve access to accurate information about communication rights at grassroots level. The clubs empower HIV positive women and adolescent girls with life-skills (assertive behaviour, communication skills, and self confidence) to enable them to articulate and defend their communication right.

Improving access to information for women and girls

Women and girls continued with their Computer Training sessions. The number of marginalized women and girls wishing to participate in the program continues to grow. Some men are also interested in joining the program. Armed with computer skills, marginalised women and girls will be able to enjoy their communications rights with unrestricted access to sexual and reproductive health information from the World Wide Web.

Building the self-confidence of people living with HIV/AIDS

An advocacy workshop was organized to increase the target groups’ communication skills with a focus on: presentation skills, system of argumentation, ability to speak in front of the public, self articulation, increase self-confidence and self esteem, increase of tolerance towards different opinions and negotiation skills. A guest speaker, Mrs. Beauty Ngwenya was invited to lead the talk. Mrs. Ngwenya is a local HIV/AIDS activist and a member of the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) and has been living with the HIV virus for more than fifteen years.

Commemorating International Women’s Day

As part of efforts to network with Government and a variety of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) to highlight Communication Rights, the Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD) took part in commemorations to mark International Women’s Day. The commemorations were organized by the Ministry of Gender and Women’s Affairs. Several government ministries, departments and the civil society took part in the commemorations.

Women need Family Planning education

The increasing frequency of computer lessons for women and girls have exposed one big issue that hinder women from pursuing productive careers outside the home.
Unplanned pregnancies, poor child spacing and teenage pregnancies have seen a high number of women turning up for lessons with children or heavy with pregnancy. The result is poor participation and limited concentration.
The Creative Centre for Communcation and Development's computer literacy programme is exposing women and girls to computers while developing their professional lives and increasing their access to information and their power to use and control ICTs.
One of the women who attended the training has already secured a job in an ICT shop where she is responsible for typing documents, photocopying, printing and binding documents for clients.

Communication Rights Dialogue session

This Communication Rights Dialouge session brought together people from the church, media, governement ministries, public institutions, NGOs, FBOs and Human Rights groups.
The Dialogue session focused on the history of Human Rights, challenges faced by local communities in exercising their rights and what pwople can do to create an enabling environment for the exercising of human rights. We also looked at Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and their universal application. We also used the 2009 GBV poster to focus our discussion on building and recognising communication rights in Zimbabwe.

Family Day_16 Days of Activism

We actively took part in the 2009 16 Days Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women. We organised a family day aimed at encouraging communication within families. We also engaged parents and children to freely discussed Gender Based Violence in their community.

During the day poetry, music and theatre were used as the main communication tools. Men were involved as they are key partners in ending violence against women and promoting women's communication rights.

Building and Recognizing Communication Rights in Zimbabwe

From November 2009 to date, the Creative Centre for Communication and Development has been training women and girls to use computers. We are teaching them basic computer skills in order to increase their ability to harness the power of INformation and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to advance their communication rights.

We initially conducted a needs assessment at the beginning of Novemebr 2009. The needs assessment revealed that 95 percent of the women and girls had never used a computer. The few who had used a computer were not confident enough to use them to advance their communication rights and other human rights.

During the same month, we initiated a training programme solely aimed at teaching these women and girls to use computers. We taught them to use Mictosoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Once they master these programmes, we will teach them to how to use the Internet and Web 2.0 to enable them to actively participate on other social networks.

Due to limited space, we have converted a veranda into a "Computer Lab". We have three computers and the women and gilrs that we are training have lessons five times a week.