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SCMZ youth for peace campaign takes to the field - a resounding success
Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)
November 24, 2011

The Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) recently held a 'Sports for peace Tournament' at the Belvedere Technical Teachers College in Harare. The tournament came as part of the broader SCMZ Youth for Peace Campaign aimed at mobilizing young people to desist from violence and act as agents of peace. The origins of this campaign for peace is centered on the saddening realities of the prevailing Zimbabwean landscape whereby young people`s participation has been highly minimalised to sloganeering, campaigning for elderly politicians and used as machinery for violence as political parties jostle to maintain grip and relevance on the political scene. This has resultantly further relegated young people to the peripheries of national processes, thus leaving them with no say in the governance of their own country. Coupled the levels of uncertainty shrouding the coming elections it is high time students and other young people alike strive to preserve a peaceful environment to ensure meaningful and effective participation as they struggle to reclaim their rightful position in national processes. This prompted the SCMZ to take its ongoing campaign for peace to the fields, where soccer and netball tournaments were used as platforms to reach out to the student community coupled with intensive information dissemination. More than 200 students, educators, human rights activists as well as various other dignitaries from progressive youth organizations all thronged the institution to witness the games that took place in honor of preserving peace.

Realizing the challenges in traditional ways of mobilizing young people, SCMZ decided to make use of the platform provided by such activities to educate the students of the importance and advantages of non-violent ways of airing grievances and respect for diversity. Thus by actively engaging the students in field games such as netball and soccer the Movement strongly believes that this symbolic gesture of kicking the ball illustrates our mission of kicking and getting rid of violence from our lives, institutions, homes and the nation at large. This is invariably not the first time that SCMZ has undertaken such measures in a bid to denounce violence in all its forms, spread the gospel of peace and promote dialogue. Various other initiatives such as "Clean up" campaigns and musical concerts involving local urban grooves stars such as Madiz, Alexio, Olinda Marowa and King Shaddy amongst others have been used as instruments of standing for justice and recognition of young people as a formidable force in building a democratic society.

Prizes of 15 soccer uniforms as well as netball uniforms plus 4 balls were presented to the winning teams while the generality of the participants received awareness t-shirts. Indubitably, this is a success story in the making, and bigger and better efforts are set to grace the students and young people in our bid to redress the destructive and retrogressive effects of violence in our communities. It is our hope that tapping into the zeal and influential capabilities of students and young people the Zimbabwean political playing field would be one day characterized by tolerance, peace, love and harmony, with young people freely exercising their God given citizen rights without favour or fear of victimization. As the nation moves towards the completion of the much awaited constitutional reform process and subsequently national elections, SCMZ would like to exhort the entire ecumenical Movement and other progressive organizations to remain unwavering and continue exercising their prophetic role through denouncing social injustices and proclaiming the greater good of all people built on peace and respect of human dignity. Let everyone who claims to be a child of God joins SCMZ Peace-building Family, for the Bible says, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God", Matthew 5 verse 9.

Visit the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe fact sheet

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