Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) conducted two Community Outreach Exhibitions on Constitutionalism in Bulawayo and Plumtree, on the 20th and 24th of September 2019, respectively. Both community outreach programs were held after road shows that played a pivotal role in mobilising communities to the venues where the exhibitions took place and to disseminate information on civic rights and the constitution.
The aim of the community outreach sought to increase community awareness on social rights including access to health care services, the Bill of Rights, and Gender Equality as espoused in the Constitution of Zimbabwe of 2013, Amendment 20.
Other organisations that were present for the outreach comprised of the following: Christian Legal Society (CLS), Masakhaneni Project Trust, Emthonjeni Women’s Forum, Trinity Project, Habakkuk Trust, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BUPRA), Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC), Reaching Out Charity Organisation (ROCO), Southern Western Region Gender Network (SWRGN), National Aids Council, Yes Trust Zimbabwe, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, and Restless Development.
Organisations managed to distribute information through fliers and brochures that highlighted what their mandate entails in upholding human rights as stated in the Zimbabwean Constitution.
“The community out reach was an educative experience, especially on access to documentation,” said one woman speaking on the sidelines of the Bulawayo community outreach. “At least when facing hurdles in assisting those close to me in accessing birth certificates, I now know who to engage as such has been a problem in our Ward.”
Legal practitioners who were present for the community out reach expo offered free legal advice to interested parties.
“Since people’s situations are not similar in any way, we are treating them in that manner through the community outreach expo,” said one legal practitioner representing Christian Legal Society (CLS). “Although we are also part of the community expo, we are maintaining confidentiality at all costs so that people can actually have their time’s worth.”
Communities were encouraged to actively participate in events of this nature as these are key in helping citizens understand sections of the Constitution that they may not have much understanding on.
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