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Peer engagement essential to fight GBV, drugs, substance abuse

by Gideon Madzikatidze/Simbarashe Sithole
10 Dec 2023 at 07:11hrs | Views
Churches in Zimbabwe been urged over the weekend to roll out series peer engagements amongst youths in an effort to combat the scourge of gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuse in communities through cyberspace during this digital era.

Speaking in a media briefing after arrival at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport before officially giving remarks during ongoing youths conference in Harare, leader of The United Apostolic Faith Church, Arch-bishop Dr Busani Sibanda expressed his desire to realise effective and efficient utilisation of digital mechanisms as means of engagement.

"Our research and observations about demographic groups engaging in gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuse have shown that youths have become both victims and perpetrators of this scourge," Sibanda said.

"Youths should only therefore get engaged in the digital context and content of their realities which have become their daily routines. They are well vested with capacities and capabilities  to spread information through cyberspace, hence shaping up societal and community narratives amongst their peers," Sibanda added.

"It is through digital platforms that we noted the impact of youths conversations or participation in digital spaces where we noted manifestation, escalation and de-escalation of conflicts in societies.

"The church leadership has therefore organised this conference to be held during celebrations of my birthday to show the youths that my life is dedicated for them and also, empowering them to develop as sense of ownership and responsibility. This gives an opportunity for youths ambassadors amongst our youths to influence, teach and train their peers on social, economic, moral and cultural uprightness where churches become centres of excellence in transforming societies for the positives," Sibanda close remarks.

The United Apostolic Faith Church has been active in campaigning against gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuses. During previous years, they engage with influencers to embark on educational awareness campaigns, visual arts, dramas, testimonies and awards ceremonies as a way of incentivising communities to desist from gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuse.

Source - Byo24News