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Youth-Led Peace Initiatives Gain International Recognition, Call for Continued Engagement

4-H Zimbabwe Foundation Executive Director, John Muchenje has emphasized the pivotal role of Zimbabwean youth in fostering sustainable development and peace in the nation.

Muchenje, whose organization is dedicated to empowering young people to play a significant role in sustainable development, made the remarks at Business Times breakfast meeting held in the capital rece

He highlighted three main thematic areas of focus: Youth Peace and Governance, Food Security and Climate Change Action, and Healthy Living Environment.

These areas, he explained, are central to the foundation’s mission of creating a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe.

“Our work is centered on ensuring that young people are at the forefront of peacebuilding and development,” Muchenje stated. “We believe in a Zimbabwe that is peaceful, where political parties tolerate each other, and where all voices are heard in national development processes.”

The 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. The organization facilitated the signing of the Zimbabwe Youth Charter on Peace in the Electoral Processes by 11 political parties ahead of the 2023 harmonized elections.

This initiative gave birth to the Youth Council for Peace and Development (YCPD), an inclusive national youth engagement platform aimed at ensuring youth inclusion in national development, peacebuilding, and leadership processes at both national and provincial levels.

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The youth have also signed a Youth Peace Pledge, a commitment to maintain peace beyond the election period. These initiatives have been recognized by local diplomats, the African Union, and Peace and Sport in Monaco.

Muchenje lauded the collaborative efforts that have led to significant recognition, stating, “Youth are on the driving seat in ensuring peace and political tolerance in Zimbabwe and in the region – thus seeing Beyond Politics.” The Youth4Peace Initiatives have garnered accolades from local diplomats, the African Union, and Peace and Sport in Monaco for effectively using sport to promote peace and tolerance.

In August, 4-H Zimbabwe will be heading to Chicago as one of the top 30 organizations, and one of only four from Africa, for advancing youth peace and security.

“Before we belong to our different political parties, we are all Zimbabweans. What binds us together is bigger than what separates us. Politics should never divide us but rather unite us through the sharing of different political ideologies for the betterment of Zimbabwe.”

He also commended the government for sending back the draft PVO Bill to Parliament, expressing hope for a balanced Act that protects the nation’s interests while ensuring the smooth operations of NGOs in Zimbabwe.

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In a related discussion at the same event, Father Fidelis Mukonori emphasized the importance of virtue ethics in business, stating that Zimbabwean companies should uphold these principles to create an environment that is both appealing to investors and economically vital.

“Ethical business practices are not just a moral imperative, they are an economic imperative,” Father Mukonori said. “By prioritizing ethical conduct, companies can create a culture that fosters ethical decision-making at all levels.”

He added that businesses that promote ethical virtues like integrity, honesty, fairness, and respect greatly increase the sustainability of their operations and can attract investment, stimulate innovation, and contribute to a more secure and sustainable economic future.

“Business must always conduct itself through a framework of what philosophers call virtue ethics,” Father Mukonori continued. “The concept of virtue ethics emphasizes the importance of cultivating character traits or virtues that lead to morally good actions. These virtues include honesty, integrity, fairness, respect. A company that prioritizes these values fosters a culture of ethical decision-making throughout its operations.”

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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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