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Weekly activity update - Week ending 14 November 2012
National Youth Development Trust
November 15, 2012

Policy Dialogue Meeting

A Policy Dialogue Meeting was held in Manganganga village in Lupane to discuss the contents of the COPAC draft constitution in preparation for the constitutional referendum. Young people who participated in the meeting highlighted the need for an active role and a change of attitudes towards national processes to attain positive development in their communities. They identified the forthcoming constitutional referendum and general elections as critical processes that they need to participate in order to bring development to their communities. They called on the organisation to help them in register for elections and obtain identification documents. They further appealed to the organization to continuously provide them with information so that they can keep abreast with current affairs.

Young women's study circle

A young women study circle was conducted at Manganganga in Lupane which witnessed a positive attendance by young women. The meeting was held under the topic Young women 's participation in electoral processes, it sought to underscore challenges and opportunities faced by the rural young women in taking part in electoral processes. Gender stereotypes based on culture and the lack of sufficient information reaching them were seen as the major hindrances to their effective participation. Young women in the area demonstrated ignorance towards national issues saying it was for their male counterparts and linked attending meetings to politics hence did not want to attend. After the meeting they expressed a willingness to go and register as voters which was seen by the organisation as a positive first step towards participation in electoral processes.

Focus group discussion

A focus group discussion was held in the NYDT youth information center immediately after the announcement of the United States presidential election results to discuss the electoral processes in the US in comparison to Zimbabwe. The young people highlighted that they were impressed by the levels of transparency shown during the voting process as well as the swiftness in the release of results. They compared the voting process to that of Zimbabwe and it was from this platform that the youth began to debate comparing the Zimbabwean electoral process and that of the United States of America. The youths displayed knowledge on the processes in the country and as per recommendation advised the secretariat to enlighten other youths on the electoral processes as the country draws nearer to the presidential elections. This is set to be a weekly activity with the youth coming in to debate on critical issues in and outside the country.

Friday afternoon movie

As a way of reaching out to the young people in a more relaxed activity the NYDT hosted a Friday afternoon movie on November 9, 2012. The youths had an opportunity to watch, The Great Debaters, a movie which dedicates a lot of time to young debaters expounding on school integration, civil disobedience and other critical issues. The movie sends the message that there is a lot that young people can do within their communities to change their undesired situations hence served as motivation for action to the youths watching it. The main objective of the movies is to enable young people to link what they see in the movies to what goes on in their daily lives so that they can be able to draw lessons. Different movies will be shown every Friday afternoon as one of the different ways NYDT is using to bring young people together.

Focus group discussion

NYDT in partnership with Contact held a gender based discussion which focused mainly on young women's perspective on Gender Inequality in political, social, economic and even religiously spheres. Amongst other issues discussed were indicators of inequality within their communities and the issue of gender roles of which the participants identified as a major contributor in the exacerbation of the disparities between males and females. They called on a change of attitudes from the male counterparts who they accused of being the drivers of gender stereotyping. A societal change that will see both men and women being able to transform their communities by effectively participating in socio-economic and political activities will only be possible if men are willing to accept women as equal partners.

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