Local Rights

Local Rights

The Zambezi Valley Local Rights Project and the Child Sponsorship Project are both local rights projects funded by ActionAid. Both projects encourage community participation in development initiatives through strategic utilisation of various communication strategies. Community participation has been a constant theme in Basilwizi and remains central to the projects as a means to seek sustainability and equity, particularly for the people living in poverty. Involving local people in the planning of projects can increase their commitment to the project, and also helps capacitate local communities to be able to speak for themselves for better ways of solving their problems. The projects are mainly centred on capacitating the communities to be able to speak for themselves and engage office or duty bearers for improved service delivery.

The projects have three main focuses activities. Namely, Empowerment activities aimed at capacity building of people living in poverty to speak up and speak out about their human rights; Advocacy work & Campaigns activities mainly focusing on lobby and advocacy activities and specific or targeted campaigns, engaging duty bearers, service providers or policy makers;and Solidarity activities focusing on building strong networks or alliances with other similar organisations in order to effectively influence policies of duty bearers,  policy makers or decision makers.

Luunga Ward Councillor – Saina Muntanga – emphasising a Point During Message Collection Training at Luunga Primary school.

Goal

The main goal for the projects is to combat poverty and socio-economic inequalities affecting development through the promotion of transparency and accountability of local and central governments and corporates so that service delivery can be improved. Accountability is a Constitutional Right of citizens which should be respected at all levels hence it is within citizen’s rights to demand it (accountability) in the delivery of quality public services, also given that they are tax payers. The project also sees transparency and accountability as essential in ensuring inclusive and sustainable development at local and national levels. 

Approach and target group

The Project takes its point of departure from a Human Rights Based Approach to development, utilising people-centred methodologies, engagements, beneficiary participation and capacity-building as means of empowering the marginalized people to claim their rights and to demand accountability and public services from duty bearers. The target groups for the projects are local development institutions, lobby groups, Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) committees, Tonga Language and Culture Committee (TOLACCO), Rural District Councils, School Development Committees (SDCs), Village and Ward Development Committees, traditional chiefs, churches, leaders and community members, youths and children.The major characteristic of the project is that it works with the existing leadership and community development structures rather than creating new or parallel ones. 

Achievements

Below are a few examples of successes within the two projects so far.

  • Developed partnerships with 5 Teachers’ Colleges (United College of Education, Bondolfi, Morgenster, Mkoba and Hillside)
  • The project has increased confidence of people in the communities. This was seen during the Participatory planning and budgeting meeting in Gokwe North when one lady (Mejury Dube) stood up and revealed that she ended school at grade 7 but is now able to stand in front of people articulating issues for the best of her community.
  • United College of Education started Tonga lessons in September 2014
  • Lupane State University incorporated ChiTonga National Anthem after students from the operation areas advocated for it.
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