I apologise for sending this late. I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions and comments. Find beloow two women I would like to interview: Mildred Sandi, a woman who wears many hats. She is a mother, an activist, a human rights defender, director of DP Foundation, an NGO based in Bulawayo that seeks to address the needs of those below the poverty level in Bulawayo and the board chairperson for the National Association for Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO). Mildred Sandi is actively involved in rebuilding a better Zimbabwe that recognises and upholds human rights including the rights of women and children. This call was reiterated by the civic society who discussed three thematic areas to enable NANGO to develop a National Healing and Reconciliation paper. The National Healing and Reconciliation process is important for Zimbabwe to heal and build a democratic nation. Currently, many Zimbabweans leave in fear and many are traumatized. The fear and trauma dates back to post independence era. The unresolved conflicts have bred a culture of violence from generation to generation. The most affected are women, children and minority groups. I would also like to interview Febie Chuma, a teacher, a pastor and founder of Noah’s Ark Ministries. Febie Chuma has turned her home into a pre-school, a day-care centre that serves orphans and vulnerable children in Queens Park East in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and a meeting place for spiritual growth. Many women who are HIV positive find their way to her home where she provides counselling to HIV positive women. Her goal is to reduce the devastating impact of HIV in Bulawayo. She talks about stigma and discrimination within the church and how it has affected the lives of women. Febie also encourages women to be financially independent to enable them to make their own choices and to have control over their bodies. Many women in Zimbabwe depend on their husbands. As such they are treated like children and they have no control over their bodies and cannot negotiate safe sex. Many also experience domestic violence which goes unreported due to fear and cultural beliefs.

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Gertrude, you have chosen two very different but compelling women. It is a difficult choice as both are very strong women who are bringing change through opposite ends of society. Ms. Sandi is using her high position to reform laws, heal the nation through education, and build a more democratic Zimbabwe. Ms. Chuma is however working on the ground, amongst the people, dedicating herself to transforming lives through the provision of services, advocacy and education.

I believe both would provide a rich and interesting interview so I recommend the woman who speaks more closely to your heart. Best wishes, Janice

Janice, it is a difficult choice to make. I might have to interview both women and submit one of the articles for the assignment and post it other article on my journal or the Zimbabwe cafe.

Gertrude

Gertrude,

You have chosen two amazing women to choose from. I must confess that I am absolutely drawn to Febie Chuma. Her story is so beautiful and compelling. And, I love that I can so clearly see the "sidebar" solution already. Her solution to addressing the devastating impact of violence against women and HIV was to open a daycare for orphans and vulnerable children/community education for women. Wow. I can imagine a woman in Chile reading her story and thinking, "I could do that! I am going to do that!" The solution could be the nuts and bolts (step by step) of how she did it. Brief, but just enough information to give someone the tools they need to get started on their own venture.

Mildred Sand's story is also compelling and given Zimbabwe's current political climate, I am eager for news outside of mainstream media. How does she see being able to move forward if Mugabe doesn't relinquish power? Will Morgan Tsvangirai bring about positive change? How does her work fit into the scheme of things?

Oooh, great job coming up with two admirable women. I know you will choose the one who speaks to your heart and resonates most with you. (And if you still cannot choose, draw a name from a hat!)

Jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart Chief Collaborator JR Collaborations

Dear Gertrude,

To me she feels like more down to earth character, that would be interesting to hear about since she is doing something that comes from her inner will of helping people around. And it is obvious that it is her life path. I would like to learn more on how and why she focused on working with orphans. Whether it was difficult or not to gain the trust of this vulnerable children and how far did she engage herself into awareness of stigma and stories about this poor children. How did she start the day care and what phase is she in now? What are her future plans?

Best Wishes,

Victoria Vorosciuc

Victoria VorosciucProject Coordinator"Empowering women to participatein community life"WorldPulse Media Corresspondent