Chomuzangari Women’s cooperative is made up of individuals who have direct experience of the hardships and challenges of rural life in Zimbabwe. Women are the main producers of the staple food for their households. Food security is an increasing issue because of changing climate and a declining economy in Zimbabwe. The people of Chomuzangari are facing hardship, due to the current economic situation which does not present any opportunity for progress. The situation is further escalated by the change in climate, which is causing prolonged droughts and irregular weather resulting in loss of crops.
Our Work is Centred On
Despite women in Masvingo representing the majority of the population, they have less say in the decision making of their communities. We aim to increase their confidence and self-esteem so that their voice is heard and they have improved participation.
Women are the main producers of the staple food for their households. Food security is an increasing issue because of changing climate and a declining economy in Zimbabwe. We aim to build resilience by using indigenous knowledge systems coupled with modern day farming techniques.
Women and girls in Chivi, as in other rural areas of Zimbabwe, have restricted access to education which limits their life choices. We will introduce e-learning platforms like that available on Raspberry Pi. This relies on green technology and will help the community as a whole gather and disseminate information.
Water and Sanitation
In an area frequently subject to drought, we will support with assisted projects to aid learning such as access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Gender and Health
Women in rural Zimbabwe present the majority of the population and are responsible for the sustenance and general well-being of the household. Despite their multifaceted roles, they still face many challenges that stem from discrimination with regards to access to resources and decision making processes. This presents women with traumatic challenges and the anxiety of having to try and fulfil all that is demanded of them in the community and household.
The mental health of women is critical to hopes for growth and positive change in rural economies. Mental health in Zimbabwe is centralised in hospitals in major urban centres and is often affected by resource constraints and shortage of staff. There are very few programmes and activities that focus on the care of persons living with mental disorders after institutionalisation. Women are responsible for looking after persons with mental disorders, which puts additional strain and trauma on them, exacerbating the mental health challenge. This is further compounded by the negative attitudes and stigma placed on mental illness by the community.
This initiative will largely work with women to try and change community’s perception and myth about mental illness with a view to raising awareness of human rights issues and the role that community can play in integrating persons with mental disorders into mainstream society and productive life.
Where To Find Chomuzangari
Chomzangari Community is located in Chivi District in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe. Masvingo Province has a total female population of 787,098 (ZimStats2012). Chivi is a drought-prone area, north of Mwenezi and west of Masvingo occupied mainly by subsistence farmers.