In Zenilda’s community in Aileu, violence against women and children often occurs in families.
In early 2016, Zenilda became a leader of a community action group in Aileu, through the previous Reducing Gender Based Violence project. She received training through World Vision about gender-based violence and child protection issues, and became a trainer of trainers in her village and is continuing to use this information.
“The gender-based violence and child protection subjects are my favourite because they help to figure out the community concerns and the process of finding a solution,” Zenilda said.
Zenilda’s husband, Valente, said he always provides support to his wife as she trains others on gender and child protection issues to help the community reduce violence at home.
“In my culture, my wife has to serve me, like cooking, washing clothes, and looking after my family. However, this is changing and the current mentality is that husband and wife should help each other in handling domestic work. I am proud of my wife Zenilda because she teaches and shares information about the subjects and I have learned a lot from her,” Valente said.
Recently, Zenilda provided gender-based violence and child protection training for 25 high school students in Aileu.
“I want to share my knowledge with the high school students, because soon they may get married after graduating, so they have to learn about gender and child protection. My observation from the training is that they want to know more about these two issues, because they raised a lot of questions,” Zenilda said.
Nineteen-year-old Angelina, said she was very happy to learn about reducing gender-based violence and child protection from Zenilda. She said she especially enjoyed learning about sexuality and child protection, including the child’s right to life, protection, development and participation.
“I experienced violence committed by my parents in my childhood. I saw they sometimes had differing opinions until physical violence occurred,” she explained.
Angelina said she would share what she learned with her parents, to help them avoid any problems in the future. “I will also share these new skills and knowledge with my friends in my class because they have not yet received any training about gender and child protection at school,” Angelina said.
Another student, Fernando, 19, said he will also share what he learned to reduce violence in his family and community. “The gender and child protection training has increased my knowledge, and I will share this information especially with my family and neighbours so that in the future, violence against children and women can be reduced in my community,” he said.
The project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).