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FACT hands over US$37k bicycles to community care workers

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FACT hands over US$37k bicycles to community care workers



MASVINGO – Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) Zimbabwe, a Christian based organisation which focuses on HIV prevention has distributed 220 bicycles worth US$37 400 to women Community Childcare workers (CCWs), Community Based Trainers (CBTs) and Club Mentors in six districts of Masvingo.
The launch of the bicycle distribution was done on Wednesday last week at Chevron, a Regency Group hotel.
FACT Zimbabwe is implementing two programs namely DREAMS SMART and Sustaining Prevention, Increasing Access to Care and Empowerment for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SPACE for OVC. In Masvingo Province the programmes are implemented in Gutu, Chivi, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Masvingo and Zaka.
The allocation of bicycles was done as follows; Gutu 67, Chivi 54, Chiredzi 14, Mwenezi 14, Masvingo 20 and Zaka 51. PEPFAR funds the projects through USAID and FACT is the prime recipient.
Community cadres deliver services and sessions to orphans and vulnerable children, adolescent girls and young women focusing on HIV prevention, violence prevention, education and health support with adherence for those infected and affected by HIV.
Some of the objectives of SPACE for OVC are to improve access to HIV care and treatment services for children, adolescents and youths, strengthen child and family safety skills through improved access to HIV and GBV prevention, GBV response and child protection services and improved economic stability and educational attainment for vulnerable children and their families.
The DREAMS program which empowers girls through HIV prevention sessions targets adolescent girls and young women from the ages 10-14; 15-19 and 20-24.
FACT Zimbabwe Executive Director, Gertrude Shumba said they found it necessary to set aside a budget to buy bicycles for community cadres following their plight with regards to mobility. She said by providing bicycles to community cadres, they are enhancing their mobility and allowing them to reach more community members with vital services considering that they used to walk long distances of 15-20 kms.
“Today marks the launch of our bicycle distribution program, aimed at empowering our dedicated community cadres – the CCWs, CBFs and Club Mentors who are the backbone of the DREAMS SMART and SPACE for OVC programs…These bicycles are not just a means of transportation; they are a symbol of our commitment to community empowerment. With increased reach, our community cadres can provide crucial services like HIV prevention education, access to health care and psychosocial support to a wider range of vulnerable children and families.
“This bicycle distribution signifies a new chapter in our fight for a brighter future for vulnerable children, their families and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Masvingo Province. With these bicycles, we are equipping our community cadres with the tools they need to reach the most vulnerable, build resilience and unlock the true potential within each community,” said Shumba.
FACT has been existing for more than 35 years being one of the first organisations to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Director Coordination in the office of Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Irvine Kanerusine said by equipping community cadres, they are being granted the mobility they need to reach even the remote corners of the province.

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