Reconstructing Lives, Building Livelihoods
From the year 2013 an initiative by and for the marginalized was founded.
Save Matabeleland Coalition seeks to fight for the restoration of fundamental human rights of the marginalized peoples and communities of Matabeleland who have suffered many problems, amongst which a genocide.
Today the regions of Matabeleland are the worst impoverished regions in the country that suffer from structural marginalization.
The main objectives are
1) Building and raising awareness of the problems affecting the Matabeleland Communities
2) Promoting restorative justice
3) Fighting for inclusion and the end of marginalization
4) Advancing socio-economic transformation and community advancement.
5) Promoting sustainable development.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
In2014, the Save Matabeleland Coalition adopted a strategy mix that involved targeting various pressure points from the local to the sub-national, national and International levels.
Most of the success of the campaign can be attributed to SMART partnerships that were developed through the advocacy and lobby strategy.
SAMACO participated in critical national and International civil society platforms including the United Nations. SAMACO also mobilized local grassroots and community based organizations and fostered a culture of participation in development issues.
SAMACO also carried out capacity building initiatives for most NGOs.
One of the main innovations of the campaign was the "Arrow Strategy " the strategy involved tackling the problem of Matabeleland using a cross cutting tactic.
Mobilizing at the local levels, engaging at the sub-national levels, influencing at the national, and regional levels and representing at the International level.
The early stage of the Save Matabeleland Coalition has had impact at all levels - at the local level more grassroots organizations and associated institutes have received training and capacity development.
Issues and problems affecting Matabeleland have been given a platform at all levels from the National to the International levels. There has been constant avenues of engagement and participation at various levels of participation.
Of most challenges faced by the Coalition in its early years of existence has been the resource constraints and capacity to tackle all related and associated problems affecting Matabeleland and also in relation to the current global financial difficulties and the mushrooming competition of civil society entities.
Another big challenge has been the operating environment in terms of Citizen Space in Zimbabwe. The ordinary Zimbabwean citizen is still afraid to generally talk about his/her fundamental freedoms let alone fight for their rights. This has made it even difficult to effectively tackle some of the most sensitive issues on land.
Continued intimidation and harassment of civil society activists has made the organization be a bit careful and reserved in the articulation of some of the problems we face as a community.
Despite all the challenges alluded to and depicted above we were able to learn some of the most critical lessons in terms of leading processes in difficult environments.
We were also able to learn the value of SMART partnerships and networking platforms in relation to fostering capacity utilization and institutional strengthening. These lessons became the pillar for the next level of the Initiative and have allowed SAMACO to strenghten its position in fighting for the rights of the marginalized and those affected by injustice and poverty.