The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) supported by international partner the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a BRIDGE Civic Education Modular workshop from 06-08 November, 2013, in Kadoma District located in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. The objectives of the workshop aimed at building capacity of the target audience to develop effective public outreach programmes.
Twenty-three participants, selected from various non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe, attended the workshop and demonstrated commitment to influencing the agenda of educating communities on election democratic processes. The course content allowed them to follow a logical step-by-step sequence in developing their programmes applying principles of civic education, of inclusiveness, impartiality and clarity of messages throughout the process. Discussions inspired participants to reflect on the July 2013 elections and how they could have done things differently. As the idiom goes, experience is the best teacher – it is envisaged that participants will keep the fires for the love of democracy burning by harnessing their efforts towards improved civic education in the country. Civil society plays a pivotal role in contributing towards the health of democracy in the country. It was for this reason that activists participated in this training to sharpen their skills enabling them to be proactive on matters that affect communities on processes of democracy, governance and elections.
Participants appreciated the workshop with several calling it ‘refreshing’, and recommended that more similar workshops be rolled out as widely as possible in the country. Time allocated for the workshop was the only dampener and requested ZESN to consider increasing the duration of this workshop in future.