Friday, 28 October 2016

Zambia, Zimbabwean Youths Launch Social Media Campaigns Over Water, Health & Education

By Paul Shalala in Lusaka
Zambia & Zimbabwean youths advocating for #QualityEducation

A group of 26 youths from Zambia and Zimbabwe have launched three social media campaigns to raise awareness over a number of issues affecting residents of Lusaka.

The youths, who have been attending a five day training in Social Media and Advocacy in Lusaka organised by Global Platform Zambia, launched the three campaigns this afternoon.

The campaigns include #QualityEducationZambia, the Water Crisis in Mtendere and #Youth4SRH.

Earlier in the day, the youths, who were split into three groups, visited various places within Lusaka to document problems the residents were going through which they can use for advocacy.

The group which visited the University of Zambia, interviewed a number of students and those found on the Great East Campus over quality education.

"We got various views from people we interviewed. What we learnt was that people want quality education. They are saying quality education is beneficial to their careers," said Tigana Chileshe, a Zambia participant who gave a power point presentation.

Mtendere residents carrying containers of water
Tigana later unveiled the group's seven minutes documentary which showed youths calling for quality education.

Using the hashtag #QualityEducationZambia, the group wants to raise awareness for quality education as part of the drive for Zambia to attain the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number four.

Zambia is among the signatories for the 17 SDGs which are expected to be met by 2030.

In September 2015, world leaders who met at the United Nations in New York agreed to replace the Millennium Development Goals with the more robust SDGs.

Using social media, the nine participants from the first group hope to push for quality education every time they are online.

And in the second group, participants produced a four minutes video detailing the challenges residents of Mtendere go through when fetching for water.

The video showed residents queuing at a tap found at a filing station as there was no water in the neighourhood.

It also showed a business owner who was complaining about erratic water supply for his carwash.

Sammy Milapo interviewing Mtendere residents
"The people we interviewed complained that they have been reporting water shortages to relevant authorities but there is no action," said Sammy Milapo, a Zambia participant who unveiled the video during the training.

In the third group, participants visited Kalingalinga Clinic to check on the Youth Space which was created to accommodate youths when they come to access Sexual Reproductive Health Services.

However, the group was not allowed to film as they did not seek permission from the Lusaka District Health Management Team.

"We were however allowed to see the youth space even though we could not film. What alarmed us were the lack of activities for the peer educators who just sit there and wait for youths. Also, there is no proper signage for the youth space and it is a challenge for a youth to locate the place," said Nhlanhla Moyo, a Zimbabwean participant who gave a powerpoint presentation.

The group also plans to raise awareness about Youth Spaces and lack of good funding from government using the hashtag #Youth4SRH.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The documentary in which the youths from the two neighbouring countries called for quality education can be watched here: Quality Education: A Call To Action For Zambia

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