Youth Empowerment Project for Peace-building
Zimbabwe Council of Christian Churches
Global Ministries has partnered with the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) since the council was formed in 1964. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches is a fellowship of 26 Christian denominations and 10 para-church organizations. Through ZCC members, the council is represented in all regions of Zimbabwe. ZCC is part of a large family of national and international networks of like-minded church and civil society organizations that work tirelessly to make the world a better place. In a world where there is increasing fragmentation within and among organizations, including Christian entities, the ZCC's mission is to promote Christian unity and at the same time celebrate Zimbabwe’s rich diversity. The Council provides a forum for churches for their shared work of leadership development toward liberation, reconciliation, justice, peace, human development and human rights. The ZCC also carries out the prophetic mandate of advocacy at all levels, and promotes capacity-building of churches and communities.
The ZCC Youth Empowerment Project for Peace-Building is an initiative to engage youth to speak out on issues of governance and to increase the youth voice in policy making and accountability. In the midst of political uncertainty and a weak and vulnerable national economy, Zimbabwe's youth make up over 70% of the country's population. Youth face unemployment, the risk of HIV/AIDs, and are vulnerable to political manipulation.
In Zimbabwe, 80% of the population identifies as Christian, and the ZCC is strategically positioned to reach a majority of the youth through their local congregations. The ZCC has an advantage to build youth action at the grassroots level throughout all of the districts and provinces in Zimbabwe. This project will empower youth to know various ways to advance their voice, and engage peacefully with the relevant authorities, in the midst of a politically and economically tenuous environment present across the country of Zimbabwe.
The project will reach all districts and provinces in Zimbabwe through ZCC member churches to engage youth in three ways:
- as Participants
- as Partners for Peace
- as Leaders
The implementation of this project will take place through three key areas: Peace Building, Active Citizenship, and Economic Empowerment. Through the ecumenical youth peace forums and group discussions on emerging issues, youth participants will work to achieve a new level of peace in the local and national landscape. The project will increase youth's active citizenship, including an increase in participation and awareness of the governance process and civil societies. The ZCC also expects this project will increase the youth's economic empowerment through providing vocational training, courses on entrepreneurship and innovation, and career guidance.
In the first year of this project's implementation, the ZCC seeks to engage 120 youth leaders from member churches to organize ecumenical youth peace forums; 60 youth leaders to be trained as trainers on the constitution and civic education; and 26 youth leaders to be trained in entrepreneurship to help start their own small businesses. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches estimates the costs to implement the first year of the project total $12,000.
Global Ministries welcomes gifts to support the Youth Empowerment project for Peace-Building.