Making a difference: Couples working together as Masp and Wasp facilitators

They decided to join SAfAIDS Men as Partners and Women as Partners (MasP and Wasp) facilitators’ training, as they believe transforming their community needs commitment and encouragement from each other. On their last day of training Dosenmatter reiterated that: ‘’If couples work together, there is a possibility of producing good results.’’

Tracy Machindu-Wife

I realised violence in the homes disturbs most families and l did not want my husband to work alone. I felt a strong connection when we were sharing the same sentiments of ending GBV and child marriages in our community. My husband always tries to bring us together as a family, to co-ordinate our children and their nieces, but there are times when l thought he was going overboard. My mindset changed when l attended the SAfAIDS training and was taught about parent to child communication and how bringing peace in the homes is possible, l was so grateful and began to understand why my husband was acting that way.

Dosenmatter Muchindu-Husband

Because l was once a Behaviour Change facilitator, it was easy for me to appreciate and accept the SAfAIDS programme when it was introduced. Being taught of GBV and HIV transformed me and I realised that a man should always appreciate his wife and family. In doing so “baba havazobude pamba vachiti mudzimai arikundibhowa’’, (men will learn to spend more time with and appreciate their wives). I am empowered to be able to defend issues of HIV in my community and sometimes it takes courage to convince and transform people. It is a good thing that l convinced my wife to join the programme because it helped us as a family to strengthen our relationship and talk openly about issues of HIV, GBV and child marriages.

We are hoping to work as a couple in spreading the message even at church gatherings, traditional courts and any other gatherings that usually happen in our community. Men tend to pay attention when they are being encouraged by other men, that is why l have a role to play in talking to other men especially on issues of child marriages. Young people are getting married as early as 12 years because they are manipulated to believe it is the right thing to do. In order to end the scourge of child marriages, men need to be informed about the Child marriage Act passed in Zimbabwe in 2016.

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