NGO engages stakeholders for GBV awareness campaigns

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Tichaona Mataruse

HWANGE—Local non governmental organisation GOAL-Zimbabwe is engaging the community on identifying and preventing cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable groups.
The organisation is mainly targeting humanitarian workers who have been fingered as prevalent perpetrators of sexual exploitation to the vulnerable communities.
Speaking during a meeting held at the Hwange District Development Coordinator board room recently, GOAL Zimbabwe Protection Coordinator, Nomthandazo Jones said the campaigns are meant to raise awareness on and sexual exploitation and abuse in relation to humanitarian assistance and humanitarian workers.
“Sexual exploitation and abuse is a form of gender based violence. The only differentiation is that it is perpetrated by humanitarian workers as they provide support to affected communities. So when we are doing our 16 days of activism commemorations we are basically saying zero tolerance to (GBV) and zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers.
“We are hoping that as our trucks go around in this month (November) which is when 16 days begins, our key message will reach different districts and communities as we commemorate the zero tolerance towards (GBV) as part of 16 days of activism,” said Jones.
The awareness campaigns will cover all the 10 Provinces in 43 selected areas and communities.
“We are in Hwange, and it is part of a project where we are piloting the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse. Humanitarian workers should not demand sexual favours, demand any money or any bribe when they work with communities and distributing whatever aid or support they have to beneficiaries who have been affected by any disaster,” she said.
GOAL Zimbabwe is funded by United Nations Zimbabwe and the Embassy of Ireland. It has been working in Zimbabwe since 2002 responding to humanitarian crises that occur in different parts of the country. It mainly focuses on water and sanitation hygiene (WASH), food security, livelihoods basically building the resilience of the community to respond to any disasters and the after effects of those affected.

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