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4-H Zimbabwe Scoops AU Peace Award

The African Union has awarded the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation with a Regional Peace Award for its dedication to conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding measures that have positively impacted Zimbabwe.  

The foundation’s efforts align with the Women Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas in Africa, which have resulted in a significant increase in the quality and quantity of women and youth participation in peace and security matters.

Both the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa of 2003 acknowledge the vital role of women in preventing and resolving conflicts and promoting peace and security.  

Additionally, the African Youth Charter of 2006 first enunciated the importance of youth participation in peace and security, which gained global popularity with the UNSCR 2250 in 2015.

Considering this, the Gender Peace and Security Programme and the Youth for Peace (Africa) Program (Y4P) of the Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department have launched an awards initiative to recognize and support civil society’s crucial role in implementing the WPS and YPS agenda.  

The African Union Award acknowledges 4-H Zimbabwe’s innovative approaches, milestones, and non-violent interventions in peace, governance, and food security thematic areas in Zimbabwe.

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The Youth4Peace project by 4-H Zimbabwe has made significant strides by bringing together seven opposed political parties through sports and interparty dialogues, promoting peace, tolerance, and social cohesion among youths from different political and social affiliates in Zimbabwe.  

The organization has established district Peace Hubs where young people from different parties can interact and share information, and it has also capacitated over 2000 rural young women on indigenous conservative farming methods, building resilience against climate change.

In addition, the foundation has facilitated the drilling of eight solar-powered boreholes, providing adequate clean water for the Hurungwe community, and established eight nutrition gardens that benefited 400 women in the same community.  

The impact of the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation has reached around 800,000 young people in Zimbabwe, resulting in a significant increase in political tolerance and a reduction of politically motivated violence during the pre-election period.

4-H Zimbabwe Foundation’s partners, including the Embassy of Switzerland in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, Crossing Borders, CISU, Sporten Commun, and Peace and Sport, and stakeholders, including seven political parties in the project, traditional chiefs, and government ministries, among others, have played a crucial role in the success of the organization.

The AU award is highly valued by the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation, its partners, and key stakeholders. The organization also received international recognition in 2022 from Peace and Sport International for using sport as a tool to achieve development goals and create a culture of peace.  

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In addition, it received a local award from The Diplomat Magazine in recognition of its outstanding contribution to peace and sustainable development in Zimbabwe. The recognition of the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation’s work highlights the importance of civil society’s role in promoting peace and security in Africa.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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