Young key populations (YKPs) in Zimbabwe have gained new skills in digital advocacy as a result of a recent training workshop by UNDP and GALZ in Harare, Zimbabwe. The three-day training, which took place from 11-13 July 2023, equipped YKPs with skills to use digital tools to safely and securely create and disseminate advocacy content.
The training was supported through the #WeBelongAfrica: Southern Africa Young Key Populations Inclusion Initiative, which seeks to boost the accountability and responsiveness of state institutions in Southern African Development Community countries to the perspectives, rights and needs of YKPs on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The workshop focused on a range of topics, including campaign framing, effective storytelling, digital security for YKP advocates, crisis communications and communicating through “owned” and traditional media.
“The skills imparted here will enable us to produce content that addresses our needs as YKPs – a group that is disadvantaged because of age, sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Sunflower, National Sector Representative at the Young People’s Network on Sexual & Reproductive Health. “I look forward to growing my audience, to amplifying my work and that of other queer people who did not get the opportunity to be here.”
“Learning about crisis management has equipped me with skills to prepare for potential backlashes or security risks that I might encounter in the future as I carry out my work as an artist and LGBTQI activist,” said Richard ‘Fufu’ Makurundundu, Artist and Founder of the Rainbow Alliance Coalition of YKPs.
The training is a significant step forward in ensuring that YKPs in Zimbabwe have the tools they need to advocate for their rights and make their voices heard.
“Innovations such as the internet kiosk will make it easier for us to sensitize rural communities on their rights and enable them to hold institutions (public/private) to account,” explained Tavonga Mushaka, Legal Practitioner and Advocacy Officer at Rise Above Women’s Organisation (RAWO).
“Through further collaborations, sharing of resources and tapping into our diversity and talent, we will successfully push our agendas and enhance our advocacy work as YKPs,” said Edward Taboka Gwebu, Enhanced Peer Mobiliser, Sexual Rights Center.
The #WeBelongAfrica programme is a regional initiative that integrates two UNDP-led projects, the Inclusive Governance Initiative and the Southern Africa Young Key Populations Inclusion Initiative. The programme is designed to support state entities in sub-Saharan Africa to become more accountable and responsive to, and inclusive of LGBTI+ people and young key populations, which in turn will contribute to better laws, responsive public sector services, and social norms that affirm these populations’ perspectives, needs and rights.
#WeBelongAfrica: Southern Africa Young Key Populations Inclusion Initiative is implemented in Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with support from Sweden and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.