The Zero Tolerance Village Alliance (ZTVA) and its sister programme, the Zero Tolerance School Alliance (ZTSA) is a model where we work with communities define challenges around SGBV and then provide a framework whereby solutions to the challenges are devised, implemented, and ultimately owned by the community. The process for joining the alliance begins with community mapping exercise to understand challenges from the community’s point of view and identify relevant agencies and stakeholders. Next, a Stakeholder Forum (representing each area of the community) is established and a Memorandum of Agreement is signed to formalise and guide the partnership between TVEP or the overseeing agency and the community. After that, a series of targeted community dialogues are held over several months to sensitise the community on SGBV related issues and capacitate them to develop their own solutions. Once the dialogues are completed, the community is evaluated against alliance criteria and if all criteria are met, a pledge-taking ceremony is held. In this ceremony, members of the community sign a pledge to stand against SGBV and victims who have broken the silence are recognised and with badges of courage. Once the Pledge Ceremony is complete, the community is entered into the Alliance and a signboard is constructed to commemorate the alliance affiliation.
The ZTVA and ZTSA programmes have a great deal of potential. UNHCR has recognised the value of this model in settings outside of South Africa. Within South Africa, Chief Kennedy Tshivhase in Vhembe was so impressed by the success of the programme in one of his villages, he asked that it be rolled out to all 100 villages under his leadership. Unfortunately, we have been unable to accommodate his wishes because of funding and resource constraints. In addition, to increase the sustainability of the programme, the original model recommended bringing all communities in the alliance together once a year in a retreat-type setting to discuss the current state of their villages and share ideas for continuing to foster an attitude of zero tolerance for abuse and discrimination. Again, funding constraints have forced us to abandon this part of the model, but as more schools and villages join, we see this as a necessary step to sustain the programme.
Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP) is located in the Limpopo province of South Africa. We focus on providing prevention, empowerment and support services in five thematic areas: HIV/AIDS, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and LGBTI/ minorities.
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171 Mathaphu st, Thohoyandou Q, next to Mbilwi Sec School, Sibasa, 0970