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Youth Resilience Training (Zimbabwe)

We received the below correspondence from our partners in Zimbabwe today about the situation in the country and to thank everyone for joining them in prayer on World Prayer Day. The letter is by Junior Vutoyi, who last month became National Director of the Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA).  She is the first woman to hold the position.

The letter was read out in the office today during a morning tea for World Prayer Day and International Women’s Day.

 


 

For such as time as this… (Esther 4: 13-14)

It is during this time that the communities that we work with look up to MeDRA for any form of assistance as we work to deliver social justice support to the marginalised. This is a very difficult time for Zimbabwe as we are going through a very difficult season. Only God will see us through!

For women and children, the situation in Zimbabwe at the moment is a very difficult one with the inflation level having reached unprecedented levels. The political and economic situation is deteriorating daily, and this is causing a lot of anxiety within the general populace. With the price of bread at $25 and $190 for 10kg of mealie meal (maize) – life is not easy for the women and children. This is increasing the burden on the women and affecting the future of children. School fees are unaffordable and putting food on the table for the family is a nightmare. The health sector has collapsed, and maternal health has been greatly compromised. Teachers are one of the lowly paid professions and they are putting very little effort on their job. Hope for a long-awaited improvement in the living standards is slowly fading.

The poor women and children both in the rural and urban areas are a sad story. With some communities suffering from a double tragedy from Cyclone Idai, the drought and floods, the situation is bad.

An ideal and aspirational world would be a place when all children can afford to go to school, have access to basic meals, clean safe water and the women have access to maternal health. People should live a dignified life.

As MeDRA, we have a role to play in all this. To give hope to the hopeless. To restore dignity. To fundraise for projects to ensure a “society that enjoys abundant love and God given dignity” through access to safe clean water, gender justice, increased household income, food secure households, shelter and everything and anything else that ensures that people live a dignified life. We have a role in the society “at such as time as this” Esther 4: 13-14 – the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe’s theme for this year. We really wish we could do more as a church organisation. To help all in need.

We are grateful that you are with us in your thoughts and prayers. With your support, we look forward that one day we will “rise, take up our mats and walk”.

Be blessed today and forever more.

Junior Vutoyi, National Director
Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA)
World Day of Prayer 6 March, 2020

 

Artwork for World Day of Prayer by Nonny Mathe, a Zimbabwean artist. Read more about it here.

 

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The Methodist Church of Zimbabwe is hard at work conducting Youth Resilience Training. With the 2018 election fast approaching, a major focus of the most recent Marondera and Gweru training have been around peaceful political participation.

61 young women and 49 young men participated in the most recent Youth Resilience Training. Bishop Tawanda Sungai addressed the youth regarding their duties as Christians in peacemaking:

“He started by indicating on the beatitude that says “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God”. He emphasized that as children of God and for us to see God we have to be peacemakers. Elections being around the corner it is the duty of the children of God to pray for peace, participate in elections peacefully, never be used as agents of violence.”

In Zimbabwe, youth are often targeted by political groups as agents of violence and intimidation. With astronomically high youth unemployment rates, they are particularly susceptible to offers to be perpetrators of violence. The 100 youth who attended the training will now be actively working against this risk. They are equipped with a message of peaceful political engagement and they are spreading it far and wide.

There has been a history of violence in past election years. Our partners have indicated that while there is some increased tension, there hasn’t been the same level of violence as seen in the past. The MCZ will continue to work towards peaceful elections through youth training, voter education, and advocating for peace.