Women without Borders, Austria, under the dynamic management of Dr Edit Schalffer partnered with ZAYEDESA to start a Mother’s School. The school is under the umbrella of Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), an organization aimed at training mothers to raise their children responsibly and be able to detect early on and defuse violent extremist behavior.
The group trained trainers for three days in late April. The training mothers are from five different locations in Zanzibar: Dunga, Kiembesamaki, Mkwajuni, Bububu and Kitogani. They started earnestly in May and are planning to continue their work to just before Ramadhan starting in late June.
Mothers have been very enthusiastic about this training and they have promised to carry the messages back to their communities when the training is over. ZAYEDESA hopes that this sensitization of mothers will go a long way towards pacifying the spice islands.
ZAYEDESA’s Miembeni Youth Friendly Health Center has 20 Outreach Peer Educators (OPEs), 15 counselors, 6 lab technicians (who are all well trained), and a Toll-Free Help Line to provide HIV prevention education and counseling. Before February 2014 all clients who tested HIV positive, used to be escorted to the main Mnazi Mmoja hospital for care and treatment, but since March 2014, the centre has started care and treatment for HIV and STI itself. On Wednesdays, the ZAYEDESA center brings in a doctors, nurses and a pharmacist for HIV and other STI screening and treatment.
The centre is in a residential area of Miembeni where clients can go for voluntary HIV testing and counselling without fear of stigma and discrimination, as all workers are well trained in avoiding being judgmental, so there is no stigma.
The centre was recently renovated thanks to funds from UNFPA, and now it is a fully functional Youth Friendly Health Care Centre.
Next to this Miembeni centre, ZAYEDESA is building the “Kijana Safi” centre to train reformed injection drug users vocational skills like sewing, tailoring, computer maintenance and repair, cement block making, etc, so that they can fit back into society and be able to earn a living as employees or self-employees. The centre will also be used to train disadvantaged youth in vocational skills as well.