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with Sr. Magwisi of Musasa Project
July 21, 2009
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This is an Inzwa
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Inside/Out with Sr. Magwisi
our interview with Loise Mangwiro, a survivor of domestic violence
Musasa Project was established by two women; a psychologist and
a lawyer after they realized that there was a lot of abuse was happening
to women. This drove them to start the Musasa Project.
We offer a counseling
service; we do what is called crisis counseling. And we also give
long term counseling, but we have other departments. For example
we have an educational department that does public education for
all Zimbabweans. We have a department that deals with issues of
HIV/AIDS that works towards empowering women about issues concerning
Abuse usually happens
within the home. It can be physical, psychological, economic or
sexual and a family member perpetrates this violence. It can be
a woman abusing her husband, or a husband abusing his wife, or the
father abusing a child.
get men coming to Musasa Project looking for help?
Lately there have been a lot of men coming here but since our target
population is women, we have a brother organisation, Padare where
we refer them. We do listen to their problems before we refer them.
is the severity of the cases that you receive?
It depends; sometime you will receive a case that will paralyze
you as a counselor for the whole day. In some cases you wonder what
really happened for such an incident to take place. Some cases are
light cases. Recently it does seem that most of the women coming
are having a crisis based on economic issues.
a crisis of economic issues mean that they are dependent on their
Because of how women were brought up, issues involving money have
always been left for the husband. As a result most of the women
who come to Musasa struggle to get a dollar for transport to come
for the counseling services. They complain that their husbands aren't
giving them money to buy a basic meal for the children; or even
money for medication when they have been infected with an STI.
think African culture in the way that it teaches women that we are
subordinate to men is a good thing in cases of domestic violence?
You know, sometimes these issues are cultural. It is how things
have been viewed for a long time. Sometimes it is difficult to address
these cultural things. But with women being educated and going to
universities, they are addressing these issues of gender based violence,
cultural norms and beliefs, versus how you as yourself how you are
supposed to interact with people and not to depend on the norms
and beliefs of other people.
are your operating hours and where are you?
Musasa project officers, that is the counselors, are available to
offer services from 8am to 4 pm. We are open from Monday to Friday.
On Saturday and Sunday we don't work. We have toll free lines
that someone can reach us on even during the night. They are 0912
100 049 or 0912 100 052. Our offices are situated on the corner
Seventh and Selous in Harare. In Bulawayo the offices are situated
at 49 Fife Street. In Gweru they are situated at number 74 Ninth
have any advice for anyone who is living in an abusive situation?
For anyone living in an abusive situation I can say please stand
up and look for assistance. Culturally people are told that chakafukidza
dzimba madenga but we are saying that it doesn't mean that
you must tell someone whom you don't trust. We are there for
you as counselors. If you have something that is bothering you,
which involves issues of domestic violence, we are here for you.
You should come out into the open and talk to us.
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