Training of Trainers in Mutare, Zimbabwe, Brings WLP Model to Schools, Government, and Civil Society

On August 13-16, 2014, WLP Zimbabwe/Women’s Self Promotion Movement (WSPM) convened a National Training of Trainers (TOT) institute in the city of Mutare. The TOT was attended by 21 highly educated and professional women active in community-based women’s organizations, education, and government, including several local school teachers, a representative of the Ministry of Education, the head of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community Development, and the provincial head of the Zimbabwe Girl Guide Association (a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts).

The purpose of the TOT was to disseminate Women’s Learning Partnership’s (WLP) philosophy of democratic and participatory leadership, and encourage more inclusion of women in all parts of social and political life. The participants learned facilitaion techniques and strategies to empower women to take on greater leadership roles and participate in political processes. They will conduct further workshops with their communities and constituencies with the support and mentorship of WSPM. This model of "training trainers" allows for the widespread replication of WLP's methodology and curriculum beyond the partnership. Each participant received printed and electronic copies of Leading to Choices (LTC) and Leading to Action (LTA) for use in their own trainings and organizations.

One participant stated, "This workshop has helped me in my capacities. I promise that I and my organization (Girl Guide Association) will cascade the knowledge to empower women at the grassroots." Another affirmed,"I am going to be a transformational leader by modelling the way for my colleagues and pupils at school."

By December of 2014, the training workshops convened by participants in the August TOT had reached hundreds of women in and around Mutare. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs organized a two-day workshop in Manicaland province that reached over 270 women and girls. Four participants worked together with the Girl Guide Association to train 81 women primary and secondary school teachers. Seven participants in the city of Mukoba mobilized over 100 women from their community for an awareness raising event about the environment. In Mutare, participants organized an anti-corruption demonstration that was attended by over 3600 women before it was broken up by police.

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