By Staff Reporter
VILLAGERS from the Zvamahande area in Masvingo have expressed gratitude to media organisations that have taken a bold step to establish news clubs in the area.
Women in Ward 33 Masvingo say their lives will be more informed since as they now have access to detailed news through newspapers that are now easily available in the area.
Two media organisations, Tell Zimbabwe and Media Centre, have teamed up to start garden news clubs where women in rural areas come together and receive newspapers at their local vegetable gardens.
They take turns reading newspapers together and use the opportunity to invite other local leaders to engage them on issues that affect their daily livelihoods.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Tell Zimbabwe director Golden Maunganidze said they were planning to train women in rural areas to practise citizen journalism so that they start writing stories that affect them.
“The concept of garden news clubs came after the realisation that women spend time in their gardens. We, therefore, track them in their ordinary way of life and promote access to information so that they are able to make informed decisions. We are training the same villagers to write their stories in their own way. The stories can be published in any media platform of their choice,” he said.
“We also create feedback platforms by having local leaders as part of the garden news club,” said Maunganidze.
A member of Zvamahande Spruitspring garden Felistas Moyo said the platform was the best way for them of having access to information.
“This is now more than gardening because after watering our vegetables, we refresh through reading newspapers and we can also take the publications home for our neighbours and children. The fact that our councillor also comes here to give us feedback is brilliant because we are engaging in a very civilised and calm environment,” Moyo said.
Ward 33 Councillor Tawanda Dube who is also the Zanu PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) chairperson said engaging with the community gives him information on what to prioritise.
“Today we are gathered here at this garden, which came as a result of my engagement with community members after they told me of the dire need of a project that both enhances livelihoods and empowers women and youth.
“Villagers are happy that when they raise their issues with me I take them up and engage those who can assist, like as this nutritional garden and irrigation project,” Dube said.