On the 24th of April 2021, the Zimbabwe Youth Sustainable Development Goals (ZYSDG), Interfaith Youth League, Environmental Management Agency (EMA, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC), and Harare City Council joined hands to clean up Mbare Sports facilities where litter has been illegally deposited. Around 50 young people from the local community responded to this call and voluntarily took it upon themselves to positively improve the local environment. The objectives of the clean-up exercise which resonate quite well with the national interests were to; ensure environmental sustainability, promote environmental awareness, restore community pride, engage young people in long term environmental initiatives, eradicate environmental diseases, such as cholera, typhoid which thrive on dirty environments and inculcate values of responsibility in the youth.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event Dr. Magiga – Head of Ethics and Public Education at ZAAC encouraged the government and stakeholders to always come up with initiatives that engage the youth so that they desist from various forms of criminalities and become people with a sense of responsibility and accountability for their environment. “We are giving a very strong message by way of an example that if we remove something that is dirty and put it where it is supposed to be, we are saying that this is an example of dealing with corruption. Corruption has to be uprooted in the country, and totally thrown into the bin and burnt so as to create a future where we have confidence in the leadership and the youth.
Hamon Johnson – Interfaith Youth League Secretary added that Stoddart Hall is known for its recreational service and should remain clean and attractive to many who want to do their various activities. “Stoddart hall should be rehabilitated and restored into its previous state where people would enjoy performing their activities. “This will go a long way in diverting the attention of young people from illicit activities like drug abuse and prostitution”, she said. Emphasizing the value of the Stoddart Hall facilities, Hamon highlighted that sometime around the 1990s an Africa Cup for netball was once hosted there, so the government and city council should assist to maintain the status of the facility.
Chairman of the Interfaith Youth League, Mr……. explained that the establishment of the Interfaith Youth League was based on the premise that sport is the only activity that can bring people from different, communities, political ideologies, and faiths together. He also indicated that over and above the sporting activities, the league also attends to community needs like cleaning the environment. He however made a call to the government to intensify support to those who are exceptionally talented in these various sporting activities. “The government, through the relevant ministries, should provide the needed support to support youth in sport and in revenue-generating projects so that their efforts will not be thrown in drains”, he said.
Commenting on the event, the ZYSDG Executive Director, Mr Jasper Mangwana said, “
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The event which was attended by around 50 youth ran from 8 am to 12 am. Youth people were very excited about this initiative and pledged their support for it going forward.