Chitungwiza is faced with a number of socio-economic and political challenges which can only be solved if citizens are engaged in setting local development agendas. The “Active Citizenship” portfolio seeks to create a mutual relationship between the residents and the service providers in Chitungwiza particularly the local municipality. Modern development theories are in favour of the bottom up approach to local governance issues thereby giving citizens the opportunity to determine their destiny and CCDN with this in mind mobilise citizens in Chitungwiza to actively participate in local governance processes.
The “Active Citizenship” portfolio’s overall goal is to promote the participation of grassroots communities in democracy and development by providing platforms for effective citizen participation. This will result in increased participation by citizens in local governance processes, community development and the formulation of sound policies that enhance and protect sustainable democracy, good governance and observation of human rights.
- The “Active Citizenship” portfolio has two primary objectives:
To promote citizen participation in setting and achieving community development priorities for local municipal authorities
- To encourage citizens and policy makers to engage and deliberate on pertinent issues prevailing in the local municipality, including especially vulnerable groups like the youth, women and the disabled to voice their concerns in development matters
Gender Equality & Women Empowerment
CCDN subscribes to the United Nations premise that views gender equality as a goal in itself and as a vehicle for accelerated sustainable development. When women fully participate and control their destiny, they contribute to lasting development and reduce poverty in the process. The Gender Equality & Women Empowerment portfolio mainstreams Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) into all of our work to ensure that young women and men are able to access their rights to sexual and reproductive health education and empowerment support programs.
CCDN mobilise communities to take action to promote gender equality and deepen democracy. Our work aims to inspire community activism, social entrepreneurship and encourages community members to form Community Action Teams (CATs) in the 25 wards in Chitungwiza, and then supports CAT members to use a range of tools and strategies, including participatory workshops, digital stories, photo voice, ambush theatre, street soccer, murals,
- The Gender Equality & Women Empowerment Portfolio has three overarching objectives:
- To promote gender equality and emancipate young women from the cycle of gender based violence, abuse of their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, exploitation and manipulation
To provide rights-based and positive-oriented sexual and reproductive health services and education to men, women and young people in all their diversity.
- To support and hold governing bodies and other duty bearers accountable to develop and implement policies and programmes that secure the SRHR for all, including gender transformative language and approaches to engage men and boys.
CCDN believes that citizens who are free to express themselves enjoy full life and enhance democracy and development. Building and strengthening creative platforms provides the youth with opportunities to act as progressive agents by influencing debates and dialogue on pertinent issues. Free Expression is a fundamental and democratic right as enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution through the Bill of Rights. Essentially, arts and citizen media become the vehicle for the attainment of societal progress.
Under the “Free Expression” portfolio we have www.chitownews.com website (a youth citizen reporting project) which is a creative multi-media platform where young people form a community, exchange information and dialogue to increase citizen’s voice and participation – the necessary ingredients for the country’s peace and development. This project was conceived against the background that Chitungwiza is the third largest urban area in Zimbabwe but with no local media that focuses on local relevant developmental issues. We train individuals and communities in use of digital technology and capacitate them citizen reporting skills and those trained individuals become the content generators in Chitungwiza. We make use of structured active use of social media to promote youth participation in influencing national governance processes such as local budgeting, resource allocation processes and more importantly the general elections. It is said that “Information power” and without citizens become passive recipients of government policies and programming thereby compromising the sustainability of the interventions. Access to information is central in promoting transparency and accountability of leadership and public institutions to the electorate.
The “Free Expression” Portfolio has two primary objectives:
- To promote the use of new media techniques like citizen reporting and digital technology in promoting the right to information, communication and freedom of expression among the young people of Chitungwiza.
- To promote information sharing for social change to ensure personal and community development in Chitungwiza.
To promote development and utilization of all forms of arts in addressing the prevailing socio-eco-political challenges.