Community-Based Trainers

Who They Are

Community-Based Trainers (CBTs) come from all backgrounds; their identities span from passionate mother to charismatic youth. Despite the diversity in education and life experiences, CBTs share one common goal: to improve the lives of  children, especially those who are orphaned and/or vulnerable.  Community-Based Trainers are carefully selected because of their knowledge of local communities and their understanding of the community structures that provide service to orphan and vulnerable children (OVC). CBTs receive technical training in Children First (CF) programs, child rights, report writing, home-based visits, finance, and granting tools used by CF. CBTs are the backbone of the majority of CF activities. Currently there are 16 CBTs in the Harare office and 22 in the Bulawayo and Umzingwane area.

What They Do

In order to strengthen the capacity of Community-Based Organizations, CBTs provide useful up-to-date feedback from the community. CF, through CBTs, offers program support to partners for school health assessments, a child rights radio listener program, and various activities that require extra staff. In some cases, CBTs monitor the project progress, verify activities reported and services accessed by OVCs, and help complement partner case management visits. Community Based Trainers are also responsible for the following tasks:

  • Developing community based service directories and joining Child Protection Committees
  • Performing facility-based checks (ensuring access and quality of services to beneficiaries)
  • Recording data, conducting home visits, and assisting with health assessments and other partner activities

This is one of their stories.

Tiwirirai Pearl Mhlanga
Tiwirirai Pearl Mhlanga, also known as Tiwi, has been a community-based trainer for over 2 years.

Tiwirirai Pearl Mhlanga

My name is Tiwirirai Pearl Mhlanga. I have been working for Children First as a volunteer since June 2009. I am a Community-Based Trainer. My duties include working with the community-based organizations in different parts of Harare and verifying that the children are receiving the required services. I collect data from schools within these communities for Children First.

I love working with children from different societies. There is no greater feeling than that of being welcomed by someone without any reservations. Although the children I have interacted with do have issues that affect them: school fees, food, clothing and family, I would without a doubt say that they are the strongest people I know. Despite all this adversity they still carry the hope that someday things will get better. This has made my experience a bittersweet one. It is refreshing working with young people who still have the ability to dream big without thinking of limitations. It has helped me to re-evaluate what I want in my own life. The greatest lesson that I have learned is that life is more satisfying when you spend your time helping others; not only do you becomes less selfish in your thinking but your capacity to love increases therefore making you a better person from the inside out. I am indeed humbled and grateful to be a part of an organization that has the privilege of working with children.

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