On this page we present blogs that have been written about WAP’s work by our team in Zimbabwe and our partner in Washington, The Advocacy Project.
Corona Virus pandemic has left Zimbabwe in an extremely difficult situation. As of end March to date, the number of infections and deaths from the pandemic remains low – 617 confirmed cases and 7 deaths- compared to many other nations that have seen higher infection and death rate https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/zimbabwe/-. President E. Munangagwa announced a 21-day lockdown which began on 30 … Continue reading COVID-19 hits Zimbabwe – and how we are responding
By Trish Makanhiwa To begin with, the WAP soap making project has created self-employment for our young girls in our communities. We are now able to work as girls using our hands and have improved our income. The sales of soap have made it possible that we can now take care of ourselves and help … Continue reading Making Soap has Reduced Child Marriage!
Young women and girls in Zimbabwe remain vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity at household level because they are dis-empowered socially and economically, hence the prevalence of child marriage particularly with girls, due to the cultural pressures &expectations put on them. The Women Advocacy Project is very grateful to Action for World Solidarity (ASW – … Continue reading Strengthening Poor Young Girls and Single Mothers by Empowering them to Make and Sell Soap
There is something very powerful and also quite important to be found in hearing firsthand how those at risk feel about the issue they are facing. One of the things I tried to do this summer was to understand how these young women in Harare (WAP’s beneficiaries) feel about child marriage, since their voices, experiences, … Continue reading Firsthand Perspectives on Child Marriage
As you may have previously read, one of my projects this summer has been to work with WAP to produce embroidery squares for a child marriage advocacy quilt which will be used to spread awareness about child marriage and girls’ empowerment in Zimbabwe. Twelve of WAP’s beneficiaries were selected to participate in the quilting project … Continue reading Putting Needle to Cloth
Over the course of the past month, I have continued working here in Harare with Constance and Dickson to finalize plans for WAP’s soap-making project: Soap for Hope. Since this is WAP’s first income-generation program, there has been a lot for us to learn and a lot of details to sort out to make sure the … Continue reading Conception to Implementation
It is clear that the ultimate goals of WAP’s “Give Us Books Not Husbands” clubs lead by the Ambassadors Against Child Marriage are to 1) educate and empower girls and 2) prevent girls from getting married. WAP has been grateful to find that so far since the clubs began operating in January 2019, none of … Continue reading Attributing Outcomes
Storytelling is a powerful method of spreading knowledge and presenting different sides of an issue. However, there is a challenge when sharing peoples’ stories – particularly those who have been through terrible things – to ensure they are not being exploited or misrepresented. Sharing images and personal stories of people who have been through hardship … Continue reading Victimization vs. Empowerment – using embroidery to share powerful stories
In addition to poverty, one particular issue that is closely tied to child marriage in Zimbabwe is reproductive and sexual health education. A lack of this type of knowledge can lead to STIs and early pregnancy which can be very dangerous for young girls. When a girl gets pregnant around the age of 15 or … Continue reading Reproductive and Sexual Health Education
As I work with WAP to evaluate their current program and plan for the expansion of their work, one of the things we have been focusing on is the economic empowerment of WAP’s beneficiaries. Poverty is among the leading causes of child marriage in Zimbabwe, and was identified as such by many of the women … Continue reading What Does Soap Have to do with Child Marriage?
The Ambassadors Against Child program was conceived in 2018 by Women Advocacy Project and the Advocacy Project Peace Fellow at the time, Alex Kotowski. The goals of the program are to utilize the power of young women to mentor other more vulnerable girls and explain the risks of early marriage to their families and communities. … Continue reading Surveying Success, Planning for Growth
McLane Harrington – 2019 Advocacy Project Peace Fellow Mhoroi from Harare! After a 35+ hour journey last week, I made it to the airport to find my hosts waiting patiently for me. Watching from an observation deck in the arrivals area, they saw me go back and forth in customs until I finally made it … Continue reading Dark Streets, Bright Minds
Sixteen-year-old Rose loves reading. When the Woman Advocacy Project (WAP) met her last June in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, she was in the middle of a novel from her favorite series, The Hardy Boys. Rose dropped out of school last year because her family was unable to afford her school fees, which amount to roughly $150 per term, including … Continue reading Girls’ Education in Zimbabwe
Abigail is soft-spoken but carries herself with a quiet authority far beyond her eighteen years. When we first met at her secondary school in Harare, Abigail was laughing and joking with her friends in between classes. She seemed carefree; she stood out from her peers only in her thoughtfulness and her pointed contributions to class … Continue reading Abigail’s Story
In June 2018, Girls Not Brides, the international coalition of 1000 organizations working to end child marriage, held their second Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Over the course of a three-day conference, 500 activists (representing 70 countries) presented their work, shared the lessons that they had learned in their endeavors, and discussed strategies to … Continue reading Girls to the Front: Mentorship to Fight Child Marriage
When Evelyn was thirteen years old, her brother became seriously ill and she went to her village’s Apostolic church to seek help from one of its spiritual healers. The African Apostolic Church mixes evangelical Christian beliefs with traditional culture and has over a million followers in Zimbabwe. Colloquially, it is called the “White Garment … Continue reading Child Marriage and Religion in Zimbabwe
Child Marriage and Harmful Social Norms One day, when Angeline was seventeen years old, she met her boyfriend and together they went to the market to buy vegetables. On the walk home, they were spotted by an aunt, who immediately told the rest of the family. Suspecting that Angeline might be sexually active, her … Continue reading Child Marriage and Harmful Social Norms
Anaishe, a young woman from Harare’s Epworth neighborhood, married when she was seventeen years old. “I married because of the poverty in which I was living,” she told the Woman Advocacy Project (WAP). Anaishe’s parents had died and she and her siblings had gone to live with an uncle. The uncle wanted little to … Continue reading Poverty Causes and Perpetuates Child Marriage
Walk through Harare’s tourist markets today and you’ll see baskets full of million-dollar Zimbabwean bills being sold as souvenirs. Zimbabwe is often cited as a textbook example of hyperinflated currency. In the late 2000s, prices on Zimbabwean goods doubled every 24 hours and monthly inflation peaked at 7.9 billion percent. There was no food … Continue reading Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis
For the past two months, The Woman Advocacy Project (WAP) has been investigating the root causes of child marriage in Zimbabwe. To date, we have conducted 136 interviews with women and girls in and around Harare and asked about their lives, their families, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future. We have … Continue reading Lack of Sexual Health Education Drives Child Marriage
For the past four years, I’ve been working on projects to end child marriage both internationally and in my home country, the United States. This summer, I’m investigating the issue of child marriage in Zimbabwe and probing the distinct economic and social factors that contribute to its continued occurrence throughout the country, even though it … Continue reading What’s the Big Deal About Child Marriage?
In a few days, I’ll be flying to Harare, Zimbabwe to begin my Peace Fellowship working with the Woman Advocacy Project (WAP) to support their efforts to combat child marriage. As I prepare for my fellowship, I’m aware of the fact that Zimbabwe—which recognizes 18 as the legal minimum age for marriage—has stronger child marriage … Continue reading Child Marriage from New York to Harare