Search for Common Ground (SFCG) initiated work in Zimbabwe in 2010 to encourage healing and peacebuilding. By using radio, television and community based outreach programs, audiences and participants have begun to promote positive societal change, tolerance and accountability. We work across Zimbabwe society, focusing on issues effecting women, youth, the disadvantaged and other marginalized groups.
The Team Zimbabwe
The television and radio series, “The Team” aired in Fall 2011, on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). This compelling 13-part football (soccer) drama is centered around two Zimbabwe youth, Pablo and Beans, as they strive to create their own football team “The Dreamers.” The Team tackles systemic societal and economic issues within Zimbabwe today and has been nominated for Best Series at FESPACO (Pan-Africa Film Festival in Ouagadougou), the largest film festival in Africa. In the United States, the series can be viewed on LinkTV Thursdays at 5:30am ET and Fridays at 10:30am ET. The Team radio series aired on Radio Zimbabwe in Shona and Ndebele, the two most widely spoken local languages.
SFCG is bringing The Team TV series to districts and regions throughout the country by conducting mobile cinema screenings and dialogues to help deepen the understanding and behavior change around targeted issues. To date, outreach activities have been carried out in Mvurwi, Magunje and Mutoko districts, as well as throughout Mashonaland with more regions to be added in the coming months.
The Team: A Media-Based Peacebuilding Campaign is intended to assist women, youth, religious leaders, traditional chiefs and civil society organizations to understand the importance of team building and teamwork. Led by facilitators, participants engage in discussions and activities that encourage them to strategize, communicate, and work as a collective, in pursuit of a common objective. Some activities to date include the following:
- A Training for discussion leaders and facilitators was held, with 10 civil society leaders trained in facilitating our mobile cinema screenings and discussions.
- Mobile cinema screenings and discussions were held, enabling attendees to explore the issues from the TV series.
- After each episode is broadcast, viewers and listeners are encouraged to send SMS text messages to share their thoughts, ideas and feedback on the series.
Mobilizing Religious Networks for Peace
Religious networks span all segments of society. However, despite strong leadership from individual faith leaders, the religious sector as a whole has not intervened in a cohesive way to promote a culture of non violence. Working with eminent leaders at the national level, SFCG plans to develop a nation-wide religious peace network. The project has two specific objectives:
- Strengthen the ability of the religious community to lead a socio-cultural shift towards non-violence.
- Generate opportunities for collaboration among religious leaders to bring moral authority to support a culture of zero-tolerance for violence.
A Screening Session
Participants figuring out the Entangled Threads Exercise