AMAGUGU International Heritage Centre has launched the Visual Expressions of Matobo Youth Voices project.
The project seeks to empower young women and men of Ward 17 in Matobo with knowledge and skills in research, citizen reporting and advocacy so as to enhance their capacities to hold duty bearers accountable in improving economic governance and poverty reduction.
Supported by Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and funded by the European Union under the broad project theme known as Creative ACTIONs2, the project is running for five months (August to December).
“The project leverages the power of visual art to contribute accountability and transparency that will lead to enlivened social fabric and improved livelihoods,” Amagugu International Heritage Centre programmes manager Allington Ndlovu said.
“This will also inspire increased participation and representation of young women and men in decision-making by bringing out socio-economic challenges and also proffering solutions for inclusive and sustainable peace and development.”
He said the objectives were to establish a network of Matobo Youth Peace Advocates to serve as champions of peace and development through visual art.
“We also want to strengthen the capacity of Matobo youth aged 18 – 35 to demand improved, efficient and equitable distribution of public services and resources from duty bearers,” Ndlovu said.
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“Lastly, we want to leverage the use of visual art as a vector for economic and social transformation.
“Project attendant activities include skills development trainings, interactive art sessions, duty bearers’ dialogues, intergenerational dialogues, harmony community murals, art works exhibitions as well as youth conversation circles.
“The methodology will include: Inclusive focus group discussions, research- based participations, training workshops, exhibitions, murals, community leadership engagements (resource mapping).”
Ndlovu said the expected outcomes of the project were improved level of participation by Matobo youths in project areas focusing on governance processes in their localities.
“This will also include improved public services and resource issues addressed as a result of interventions by creative matobo youths peace advocates in the project areas, active development champions with capacity to be agents of change in their communities,” he said.
“Increased novel ways of public engagement and advocacy through the use of visual arts in the communities and governance platforms and improved livelihoods and economic status due to leveraging the creative industries.”