All posts by Muzvare

Muzvare Betty Makoni (BA Gen, BA Special Hons,Msc pending) is CNN Hero 2009 for Protecting the Powerless, where she was honoured by Nicole Kidman. She has 50 global awards for innovation, commitment and passion for her work to protect over 350,000 girls in Zimbabwe over a decade. United Nations Red Ribbon award honoured Betty Makoni and Girl Child Network as having the most innovative strategy for gender equality. Muzvare Betty Makoni is an Ashoka Fellow and singled out as one of the investors in poor and marginalised women and girls deserving of this life honour as a fellow. News Week named Betty as one of the 150 women who shake the world, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. An Honorary Decade Child Rights Hero award (2011) that Betty Makoni received alongside President Nelson Mandela, who won the award, also shows the impact Betty Makoni has made globally. Muzvare Betty Makoni has inspired millions around the world to replicate the Girl Child Empowerment Model that she developed. Besides her work with Girl Child Network Worldwide and building many Girl Child Networks in Africa and throughout the world, Betty Makoni is a mentor, coach, and trainer for women and girls who want to do similar work. Muzvare Betty Makoni has a lifetime of volunteerism and service to many causes and has served on Oxfam Novib and UNAIDS Round Tables. She sits on many boards of high profile organisations like RESTORED UK and serves as Ambassador and Patron of Africa Achievers Award and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. She is a published author of a poetry book, A woman, Once A Girl: Breaking Silence, which was recently launched in London. Muzvare Betty is featured in best-selling books including Women Who Light the Dark by Paola Gianturco, On The Up by Nikki and Rob Wilson, as well as main subject in the award winning documentary, Tapestries of Hope, by U.S. Independent Presidential Hopeful for 2012, Michealene Risley. The Girl Child Network Empowerment Model which she started in 1998 has been singled out as Best Practice and included in University of Essex Journal for Human Rights 2010. Due to the high demand for Muzvare Betty Makoni to speak, mentor and coach girls and women round the world , she has responded by setting up a social enterprise Muzvare Betty Makoni Empowerment Initiative in UK where she offers consultancy services to organisations, schools, churches and families challenged in any way about girls . Many people book Muzvare Betty Makoni as a motivational speaker and this enables her to offer a service whilst at the same fundraising for her work in Zimbabwe and some parts of Africa. If at any stage you want Muzvare Betty Makoni to come speak, mentor or coach girls or women or if you want some of her team members she personally trained to come do this , don’t hesitate to email her direct on muzvare@gmail.com

Former Chitungwiza Ghetto girls mobilising to support hospital-Vasikana VeChitungwiza in Diaspora

Many turn their backs on places and people who brought them up especially if they are shanty and problems there seem endless. Not Linda Kute and other former Chitungwiza Ghetto girls. She recently formed an organisation called Vasikana VeChitungwiza in the Diaspora. She is now determined to mobilise all women and girls who were bred and brought up in Chitungwiza.

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I attended her first meeting at Holiday Inn express in Dustable on 1 October 2016. What struck me was her determination and passion  to establish  a  charity that could serve the  Chitungwiza community in UK and back home. The  Chitungwiza General Hospital was the first proposed  project. Speaker after speaker shared passionately about  how they saw the hospital being built when they were still young and how it had saved lives of many people who could not afford private hospitals. They also expressed concerns on lack of drugs, modern equipment, blankets and basics like baby milk. The meeting had great outcomes especially for the sick and frail in the city.  The outcomes of  the meeting were as follows

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  1. The attendees discussed how they would use resources available to buy syringes, milk bottles for babies whose mothers died during birth. A  story was shared by Evangelist Kalonga who   said that during her most recent visit to the hospital learnt about   a newly born baby whose mother died during birth and now to be taken to rural areas to be looked after by her grandmother. No viability assessment was done as there are no human and financial resources to do so. The child would need to feed on milk until such a time she could take more solid food. The attendees agreed that since the issue of feeding bottles and baby milk was more urgent based on what staff at the hospital said, some funds donated would be channeled towards purchase of  baby milk and bottles for the babies. Each tin of baby milk costs US$8 per month and none of the women or their families could afford this.
  2. It was agreed that those who wished to donate would do so. However, funds would be used based on needs of women and children at the children. The situation of women  who cannot afford to buy medication and pay for their treatment was agreed to be the most urgent priority. Therefore, the first project in future would be focused on the maternity ward.
  3. The project would go on a massive recruitment of former Chitungwiza girls and be headquartered in Luton. All meeting attendees agreed to establish a local organisation to bring all of them together. It was agreed that capacity building of members in leadership and fundraising would go a long way in strengthening the women in UK and Zimbabwe.
  4. Grant plan would see the project grow and approach some bigger donors in future. It was strongly felt that for now, more advocacy was necessary to ensure there is an awareness in UK on plight of women and children using Chitungwiza hospital. Therefore Linda and her team agreed to work closely with all organisations supporting Zimbabwe projects.

The meeting attendees were inspiring. Their commitment to come together was amazing. Two of the attendees travelled all the way from Leeds.

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A T-shirt has been launched and is available for sale  to help in fundraising efforts. See Ms Barbara Chinyani.

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Donations are welcome and please donate to Vasikana VeChitungwiza Account Number 03923851 and Sort Code is 20-45-45, Barclays Bank.

For more details please contact Linda Kute on all social media and on her personal email daisonlinda@gmail.com

Your Story Matters Event in London- About meeting Ash White

I get the honour to be invited to speak at many events in UK and worldwide.  Your Story Matterswww.yourstorymatters.com  Speaking Event as in the flier below was just a unique event for me.

I met women of substance  at Your Story matters on 24 September 2016, who shared inspiring stories and one of them was Ash White. Did you hear what she thought about me? Below is her story and hope it inspires you. I was inspired by Ash`s story too.

 Ash just reminded me to make it urgent to meet women like her. I have assisted thousands of women and girls all my life and what Ash wrote as a testimony on my speech let me wanting to inspire more. Thank you Ash. Please enjoy the story below by none other than her:

I have never met anybody like Muzvare-Princess Betty Makoni before. What a precious jewel! This was my first speaking engagement and I was mind blown that I got to speak alongside women so influential! I never imagined that the Lord would open such a door so soon! Thank you again Rhoda Harriet Khataba

Muzvare explained about when she received the official royal title of Muzvare and that it means ‘Her Royal Highness-The Princess’. She explained that when you address her as Muzvare you address the whole community including her husband who people tend to forget about as he is not in the spotlight. What a beautiful display of honour!

This lady is a world renowned gender activist and her STORY will have you in tears!! She became an orphan at 8 or 9 after her mother was beaten to death so she became the parent to her 6 siblings straight away. What a strong woman, a phenomenal woman phenomenally. There is so much more to Muzvare’s inspiring story than what I have said so please look her up and check out her 600 page book ‘Never Again’.

Of all the things that Muzvare said that blessed me yesterday there are 2 things she DID that ministered to me personally:

1. She cried- When she broke down talking about how her young brother was drowned. I cried too and felt further release from my own pain. I was always told I was too sensitive when I was younger and to see such a pillar of strength break down in tears moved me so much and gave me permission to cry also.

2. She affirmed me!! Muzvare took notes on all of the speakers and had a message for all of us individually and she said to me ‘My sister, we believe you’. All I could say was ‘thank you’ while tears streamed down my face.

You don’t know how much I wanted to be believed for years, always felt I had to fight to be heard while the truths of my life were hidden.

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All the speakers stories left me with something but Muzvare…I really was in the presence of royalty and could feel it from when she first walked into the room.

Malawi and Africa -How shameful we left “hyenas” destroy girls

Erica Aniva who is HIV positive  raped little girls and was paid to do so in order to fulfil cleansing rites.  Read  full story here BBC Story on a man who raped girls to cleanse himself

Photo credit BBC News

Now that the  beast Erica Aniva is arrested, whither to with little girls so wronged?  What would have happened if BBC had not exposed this? Are we saying Malawi fears to offend culture more than ensuring the lives of children at risk? There are questions to be answered. Malawi government, parents and all who claim to stand for children in the country should take full responsibility.

Each time an update of BBC documentary on a man known as hyena comes to my inbox or am tagged by a friend  I try to cover my head from from emotional and imagined physical punches. I keep visualising the destruction of  little girls. I see the whole scene when they stand pleading for mercy with no one paying attention.

I recall the documentary I was featured called Tapestries of Hope which featured similar stories where men rape girls because of the virgin myth that HIV and AIDS is cured by having sex with a virgin girl. It is not ignorance because most people know there are HIV and AIDS drugs. The myth is deep seated and it perpetuate violence against women which must be challenged now.

Zimbabwe`s vulnerable girls want peace

Well he is finally arrested. Most probably as loyalty to the world, Malawi government will jail him. But are they sure they will jail the harmful cultural practices. There are millions of girls violated by over 30 harmful cultural practices in Africa. Arresting one and not crushing all of them at once does not help. Malawi like all African countries refused to make law the AU Protocol on women and girls rights that outlaws such harmful cultural practices. There is urgent need for laws protecting children in Africa. There is urgent need for funding and support to go to children trapped in such harmful cultural practices. They will not exist unless government takes urgent their plight. There are no children`s services in Africa. The girls could have escaped and got help. But there is nowhere to turn to.