Waruka Academy was founded on the principles of Feminism to address issues faced by the girl child. Lives of more than 62% of teenage girls belonging to the age group of 10 to 18 years, are at risk due to forced and early childhood marriages in marginalized areas of Zimbabwe. Teenage girls are entrapped in relationships that are depriving them of their basic human rights. It involves varying degrees of force, deception or coercion ranging from emotional pressure by family or community members to abduction and imprisonment of some sort. Though it is immutable, this practice is rooted in tradition, culture and religion. This has contributed to high rise of new HIV infection among this age group compromising the efforts of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Child marriages and HIV has ravaged Murehwa District hence adolescent girls are at high risk. They cannot negotiate for safer sex since most cases; they are taken at ransom not prepared and cannot decide what they want due to societal expectations and set harmful norms that include forced and early childhood marriage they are exposed to. Child marriage is characterised by one or both parties being physiologically and psychologically unprepared to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing. It is a known result of, religious code of belief, poverty and gender causing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights infringing, socio-cultural inequalities thus seeing girl-child undervaluing, child pledging being rampant. The inadequacy, disharmony and poor implementation of policies and legislation presents a fertile ground for propagation of Child Marriages in Murehwa district which is dominantly rural.
Child marriage is a global evil with recorded socio-economic, and health disenfranchisement of its victims. Child marriage often results in children being alienated from the school system and in the process, shuttering them away from capacity realisation, development and empowerment opportunities that could lift them and their society out of poverty. It exposes the child brides and their new born babies to high health and death risks due to physiological immaturity and the related lack of utilisation of health care centres for deliveries. This results in extensive violation of human rights and social exclusion, as brides are exposed to inequality, domestic violence and lack of choice regarding their sexual and reproductive and developmental rights.
The negative effects of child marriages are therefore dire, and if the problem is not addressed pose a serious direct threat to the country’s efforts towards the attainment of up to 7 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realisation of the demographic divide.
We Envision a Zimbabwe where Forced and Early Child Marriages has no place
We are Redefining Passion and Demonstrate Commitment to a lifelong development of teenage girls that will continue to motivate others in the future and set a new Innovative, sports, arts and culture for the coming Generation
- To reduce forced and early childhood marriage in the Rural communities in Zimbabwe
- To provide Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights to the marginalized communities
- To tackle and address the root causes of forced and early childhood marriage in the Rural communities of Zimbabwe
- To develop female Athletes who will participate at highest level of sports globally