By Clemence Muchedzi
Sweet Valley Club, an organization that advocates for the protection, enhancement, and empowerment of youth through developing leadership skills and awareness of social responsibilities has called for collective effort among youths to champion national development.
Founder of the organization, Abel Tafadzwa Musanhu said their desire is a future whereby every youth is afforded opportunities for employment as well as other avenues of economic empowerment together with being represented and participating in all spheres of life.
Musanhu said the loss of Ubuntu spirit by youths in his neighborhood motivated him to start the organization in order to circumvent or bridge the gap of immorality by valuing community care to triumphantly achieve community development.
“I grew up in a city where most of the youths practice immorality, crimes and illegally selling drugs such as marijuana. That motivated me to start a programme to positively impact the youths. As a result, in 2015, I started the Sweet Valley Club to promote social harmony, justice, and development among youths within the community,” he said.
Musanhu said Sweet Valley Club uses several mechanisms to ensure that the voices of youths are heard and that their needs are taken into consideration, making sure that their lives are enhanced for a better future.
“We have a number of activities that we do with youths. For instance, we hold capacity-building dialogue among various youth focus groups. We have projects like farming and entrepreneurship training. We came up with a Sweet Valley club database where we record details about our members and their various needs.”
Sweet Valley club provides educational seminars for youths and engages in public health campaigns.
While advocating for the enhancement and empowerment of youths, Musanhu said he encounters a lot of drawbacks.
“We face financial challenges in many prospects especially when we want to do campaigns and visits. There are young women out there who do not even know what a sanitary pad is. They use cow dung, clothes, and banana leaves and sometimes drop out of school until they are done with their periods. As a panacea, we provide them with reusable pads but the entire process requires money,” he added
Concerning protection, enhancement, and empowerment Musanhu said youths should face the future cautiously.
“As youths, we all know what is good and what is bad. Dare yourselves off immorality because there is more to your lives now and in the future,” he summed up.