ROHR ZIMBABWE UK CHAPTER CHAIRPERSON’S BEGINNING OF THE YEAR STATEMENT FOR 2014
ROHR ZIMBWBWE believes that human rights education is fundamental to addressing the underlying causes of human rights violations, preventing human rights abuses, combating discrimination, promoting equality, and enhancing people’s participation in democratic decision-making processes. This has been our main focus in 2013 and will continue to be so in this year 2014.
The support and comradely spirit in which our members have acted in the past year is much appreciated. We are grateful and we will continue to encourage our members not to tire of the cause they have believed in.
ROHR Zimbabwe – UK Chapter continues to look forward to an eventful year in 2014. As human rights activists, we look forward to a deliberate, participatory practice aimed at empowering individuals, groups and communities through fostering knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with internationally recognized human rights principles. We look forward to developing and integrating people”s cognitive, affective and attitudinal dimensions, including critical thinking, in relation to human rights.
One of our goals is to build a culture of respect for and action in the defence and promotion of human rights for our Zimbabwean community and extending it to all. We believe that human rights education, which is one of the projects we will embark on, is an internationally recognized method of promoting human rights at all levels, be they local, national or global. Human rights education can also play a vital role in building social structures that support participatory democracies and the resolution of conflict. It provides a common understanding of how to address political and social differences equitably whilst at the same time appreciating and celebrating cultural diversity.
We look forward to seeing ROHR Zimbabwe – UK Chapter working on Africa Human Rights Education Projects. This, of course, is a long-term programme aimed at enhancing the capacity of civil society to deliver locally relevant human rights education and to improve human rights for the most disadvantaged by empowering marginalised communities, thereby encouraging them to promote and defend their human rights. These projects build on the lessons learned in the past 5 or so years of ROHR Zimbabwe – UK Chapter’s growth.
The projects will deliver community-level human rights education within the Diaspora and will eventually focus on Africa, particularly Zimbabwe. Through these projects, we aim to engender a culture of human rights within communities, enabling people to identify and address local human rights issues within a human rights framework. We will provide communities with information on how human rights relate to their lives and the obligations that office bearers have in the course of promoting and protecting those rights. We will provide communities with the skills and tools so that they are empowered to take action to realize their rights.
The projects will address diverse themes, identified by partners as being prevalent human rights issues. These include economic, social and cultural rights; torture; cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; violence against women, among other things. Indeed, there is unlimited scope and potential to improve the human rights situation through education. Local partners and community level human rights educators and activists will be supported through coordination, networking and the sharing of skills and resources.
We have much more planned for this year 2014 and look forward to sharing our projects and programmes with you as the year unfolds.
We therefore invite you to embark on this journey with us. It will be a very fulfilling and rewarding experience as you take part in this eventful year of 2014. We look forward to working with you.
Together we can make a difference.
ROHR ZIMBABWE – UK CHAPTER