"The Gender-Based Violence Program Saved My Life"
Today, Nyarai holds her head up high and speaks with confidence as she sells goods in her local market, earning a living that supports herself and her two children. She is empowered, independent, and safe—thanks to the assistance she received from World Education’s Vana Bantwana (VB) Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Program.
A 2014 World Education survey of 1,401 youth and adults found that up to 36% of respondents, both male and female, had experienced some form of physical violence. Many respondents, however, were not aware of the resources available to them.
The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention and Response Program provides violence prevention support services to address GBV in Zimbabwe. The program is implemented through World Education’s Bantwana Initiative and collaborates with local partners who specialize in medical, legal, and psychosocial support for survivors of GBV. One of these key partners, the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association (ZWLA), offers legal aid to survivors of GBV, and these services helped Nyarai become the woman she is today.
One night last summer, Nyarai’s husband brutally attacked her and she fled her home. A friend brought her to the ZWLA office, where she was provided counseling and free legal aid. Soon after, Nyarai and the ZWLA were able to bring her case to court to establish custody of her children and a protective order against her husband.
The months following her separation from her husband, Nyarai has worked with World Education’s GBV Program and received additional emotional, financial, and legal support. Since then she has been able to establish a job and a fresh start for her family.
Nyarai is only one of 2,318 GBV survivors who World Education and its partners helped in 2014. “This project saved my life!” she says. Nyarai is now training to be a community legal educator so she can assist other women in abusive relationships to receive the help they need.
The World Education program is strengthening community-based structures to prevent and respond to GBV. In 2014 alone, World Education had reached 149,532 children and 9,632 adults—including 470 people with disabilities—with community sensitization and school-based education on gender-based violence.
|Related Projects: Vana Bantwana, Expanded Integrated Management of Pediatric AIDS Care and Treatment (IMPACT)|