BUHERA – The Junior Member of Parliament (MP) for Buhera West Member of Parliament (MP) Ashley Tenga is devising a plan to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV) and early child marriages through a concerted campaign in the rural areas.
The 16-year-old Tenga, who was one of the 22 citizen journalists trained by Tell Zimbabwe on August 31, said she was saddened by the rampant incidences of GBV, sexual violence and early childhood marriages in the district.
“Buhera records high numbers of those vices every year and that is due to many factors including poverty, lack of education opportunities and antiquated traditions. I feel privileged because I am able to go to school and I as a person am not a victim,” said Tenga.
She said she will soon be conducting a community mobilisation campaign targeting school children and community leaders to form a constituency-wide force against GBV, early child marriages and sexual violence.
“If we go into communities and speak to the real people who matter, we would be creating a good chance to deal a blow to those vices. People should be made to see that it is wrong to deprive children of their childhood through any form of violence and abuse. Children should also be liberated from fear and must be given courage to report whatever they feel to be a violation of their rights. In other words, we want to encourage people to watch out and speak out,” Tenga said.
She also said she was going to use the knowledge gained from the citizen journalism training workshop to sharpen her communication skills against child abuse.
“There are many cases of child abuse that reach the courts of law but there are even more that go unreported. Rape is rampant and much of it never gets to be punished. I feel citizen journalism is critical in highlighting some of these problems,” said Tenga.
The Tell Zimbabwe citizen journalism training workshop was held at the Better Schools Programme Zimbabwe (BSPZ) premises at Murambinda growth point.