Harare City Council and Oxfam, a non-governmental organisation have partnered to revamp Mbare youth friendly centres in Harare which were closed due to vandalism.The city recently approved Oxfam’s plans which are expected to address protection issues affecting the urban youths.
During the period 2008-9 Oxfam partnered with Zimbabwe Projects Trust (ZIMPRO) and the City of Harare to open youth friendly centres in Mbare at Stodart Gymnastics Hall and Matapi Community Centre which have been vandalised over the years and ultimately closed their doors.
The youth centres acted as information resource centres allowing youths from the local community to access information from the Internet, videos and information on HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and other subjects relevant to their development and needs.
According to Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee minutes of December 11, the council approved Oxfam commitment to revamp the two centres with the help of the city.
“The Corporate Services and Housing director reported (October 7, 2014 circulated with the agenda) on the rehabilitation of youth friendly centres in Mbare by Oxfam, a non- governmental organisation currently implementing a water, sanitation and hygienic project linked to agriculture and food security, entitled NGO Initiative for Urban Zimbabwe in Mbare high-density suburb,” reads the minutes.
“Oxfam undertook to refurbish the two centres and had financed the refurbishments which were still work in progress through the Department of Works. The work included among others the screening of doors and windows for security, repairs and re-tiling of floors, repair of ceilings and painting of walls.”
After completion of renovations, Oxfam would supply the centres with the relevant equipment.
“The committee noted that when refurbishments are complete Oxfam would equip the centres with items such as television sets, DVDs, computers, and other and finally hand them over to council. Oxfam had also committed itself, in the interim to train the youths on the proper management of the facilities,” read the minutes.
According to the minutes, the centres would also focus on youth based early warning approaches and disaster risk reduction.