Stories collected reflect a rich picture of significant changes in the lives of beneficiaries resulting from their participation/membership in the Study Circles intervention. The stories collected cite improvement in income as the most significant change, improvement in health, improved food security, improvements in capacity and knowledge and reduction in stigma and discrimination.
ENMT, in the rural communities of Gwanda District, wards 1, 2, 13, 13, 14, 15 and 18, work with groups called Study Circles. Each group has 5 to 12 members.
The programme objective is to support communities in solving their developmental challenges through community projects based on creative problem solving using information resources and the study circle method.
Members come together to learn and share experiences. In simple language they are discussion groups. These discussions result in an action e.g. they might decide to start a project or may develop an urge to spread the word or involve others.
The Study Circle methodology has transformed women and men's perception of the challenges and problems they face to a vision embracing socio-economic and cultural rights to food, health and water access. They learn to appreciate shared goals, teamwork, and draw lessons from a number of paths on their survival to developing self-esteem. A notable development has been the growing number of men joining Study Circle groups.
Women who have been traditionally cloistered and their participation in household and community decision making restrictive now find themselves owning property and holding leadership positions in the community. Gender status for women in terms of basic rights and justice has changed. Women now have a voice in community meetings. They are no longer afraid to speak out as they are well informed.
Sibambene nutrition garden project (Gwanda South East)