By Stephen Ephraem
ON our way from Chimanimani’s high density Ngangu Township, the bus turns-off from the Chimanimani-Skyline highway and takes to task the road that leads to Dzingire (Coppa) using a newly rehabilitated highway.
In no time, we arrive at an area called Peacock. This business centre is pregnant with fresh wood cabins that replace shops which were washed away by Tropical Cyclone Idai floods in March 2019.
The place is a testimony of how the cyclone disturbed people’s livelihoods which led to non-profit making organisations like Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) to intervene in Chimanimani.
From Peacock we head towards Machongwe business centre. Two things happen here. The temperatures get hotter and the highway ends. Machongwe promises to expand in a few years to come. We start to endure bumps as the earth road becomes bad.
After some time, we leave the Coppa road as we turn right where a sign post reads Nyabamba. The place boosts of a school and a health centre. Some lovely nutritional gardens smile at us. There is tapped water at the centre.
As we disembark from the bus, we are welcomed by singing and ululation by a group of young mothers who are congregating at the health centre. The group calls itself Chirangano Women’s Health Club. Chirangano in English is an accord or agreement.
Chirangano Women’s Health Club consists of young mothers who ages range from 16 to 23 years. The club gives testimonies that REPSSI has built community resilience in Nyabamba such that they have retained lost hope.
A 19 year old Sharon Mununguma of Chanyamwaka village who is a mother of one revealed that she is ready to return to school after her learning was ruined when she got impregnated three years ago.
“I was 16 years old when I dropped out of school due to pregnancy. My husband took me to his home but I couldn’t complete my Advanced Level course. The education we are receiving from REPSSI programs has restored my hope and I am ready to return to school.
“I was bright in school that I took two practical subjects being Metal Work and Fashion and Fabrics. I urge all women who dropped out of school to start studying again so that we can uplift our lives,” said Mununguma.
Mercy Ndiyadzo indicated that REPSSI has helped them to be strong as far as gender based violence is concerned.
“Men in our community had a tendency of beating up wives. Now I can safely say that things have changed. We used to fear even to report our spouses if they abused us. We are happy that the community now understands that abusive spouses can be reported to the police,” said Ndiyadzo.
Anna Nxumalo is able to control her tempers due to education received through the women’s club.
“I used to be temperate but now I can control myself. I am able to avoid unnecessary arguments and if my husband tries to causes a stir, I simply avoid it. I learnt that discussing matters amicably is the way that helps protect children in the home,” said Nxumalo.
REPSSI whose motto is Love, Care and Protection aims at ensuring that all children have access to stable care and protection through quality psychosocial support. Such child focused initiatives sees the organisation support community groups like Chirangano Women’s Health Club to promote the well-being of all children.