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WPD Celebrations 2019 in Zimbabwe: President ED Mnangagwa officially opens Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre

12 July 2019

 

The Government of Zimbabwe, United Nations agencies and partners celebrated World Populations Day by officially opening Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre during celebrations held in Hopley, Harare. The Tariro  (Hope ---in Shona) Center as it is known,  was constructed by the City of Harare, with technical and financial assistance for a skills development approach initiative,  for young people.  This was supported by the funding from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and private cement manufacturing company, LaFARGE. Hopley is a peri-urban district located on the outskirts of Harare with a population of approximately 200 000, out of which about 65 000 are between 10-24 years.  It is characterized by high levels of migration, poor infrastructure, limited access to social services, lower education attainment, high unemployment and marked informality.  In addition, concerns including child marriage and teenage pregnancies are high on the list of problems.

World Population Day is celebrated every year on 11 July since 1989 when the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that the day be observed by the international community, as a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.

United Nations, Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli said in celebrating World Population Day, 25 years after the International Conference on Population and Development Conference is a reminder to UN and its implementing partners of the commitments made at the conference in 1994.

His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he was honoured to be part of the World Population Day celebrations, a flagship day for UNFPA.  He said the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to bettering the lives of women and young people.

“As we launch and commemorate World Population Day today, my Government would like to renew its commitment to the International Conference on Population and Development agenda. We support initiatives that improve the quality of life for Zimbabweans, including those seeking to promote universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights towards ending maternal deaths, Gender Based Violence, HIV infections and promoting the availability and use of family planning,” President Mnangagwa said.

At the inception of the initiative, the City of Harare was looking at bringing health services to the community of Hopley, UNFPA stepped in to assist and reached out to ILO and Lafarge to join in the venture. Tariro Centre were built by young people, from the Hopely community, who were trained in various construction industry skills such as electrical work, plumbing, bricklaying, and cobblestone technology and engaged as apprentices to build the clinic and the youth centre.  The young people also received training on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights to equip them with information to live healthier lives.  

The Embassy of Sweden through, Martin Jörnrud, Chargè d’Affaires, speaking on behalf of funding partners said development partners are inspired by the young people, especially young women, from Hopley who have been able to develop their personal skills and improve their competitiveness for future employment.  

 “Sweden is a strong advocate for universal access to SRHR. With our support we wish to encourage young Zimbabweans to live healthy and productive lives. We hope that the activities at this clinic will result in reducing unwanted pregnancies, combating forced and early marriages, incidences of HIV and help preventing school dropouts,” he said.

 

 

Tariro Center were built with financial support from the Health Development Fund to which Governments of Britain, Ireland, Sweden and the European Union are funding partners.

Tendayi Chimana a fistula survivor from Birchenough Bridge gave her testimony on how she lived for 12 years with the condition and eventually went through fistula repair surgery at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital through support from UNFPA and partners.

“I am grateful to UNFPA for the support they gave me to ensure that I was repaired.  I had lived with the condition for more than 10 years but I am happy now because I am fine. I encourage other women living with the same condition to seek medical attention and be repaired,” she said.

Also sharing her testimony Brenda Munhenga, a beneficiary of the UNFPA Sista2Sista programme who also received skills training under the Hopley project said her life has been touched by both interventions. She was trained as an electrician.

“I am glad to be part of the young people who constructed this beautiful clinic and youth centre. Sista2Sista has also taught me to be self-sustaining,” said Brenda