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Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation, Zimbabwe – SAFE Communities

Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation (SAFE) is working to prevent violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe, including a focus on reaching those most at risk of violence.

SAFE Communities is a multi-year GBV prevention programme funded by the UK government in Zimbabwe. It was designed in 2021 and has been working in three districts - two rural and one urban - to reduce the perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV), focusing on addressing economic insecurity and discriminatory social norms as key drivers. It is testing a theory-driven combined economic and social empowerment approach which works at individual, relationship and community levels, and is publicly framed as a family wellbeing programme.

SAFE logo

SAFE Communities is working in Mwenezi, Chikomba and Chiredzi districts, implementing a violence prevention model, called Toose, alongside supporting response approaches developed by Zimbabwean women’s rights organisations. In Mwenezi and Chikomba, SAFE Communities is implementing a social empowerment curriculum plus tailored livelihoods support through community savings and loans associations. In Chiredzi, SAFE Communities is implementing the same approach, but with couples who are already engaged in an existing social protection programme which provides humanitarian cash transfers. By alleviating the economic stress faced by households, equipping intimate partners with the skills to communicate effectively and cooperate, and challenging gendered norms, it is expected to reduce IPV at the household level.

Prevention Model - Response

Prevention model


To increase the reach of SAFE to women and girls most at risk of violence, SAFE is prioritizing disability inclusion and inclusion of women and girls from varied family structures, such as single-headed households, migrant families and polygamous households.

SAFE Communities has a strong focus on learning and adaptation and has developed a number of learning products and tools related to the programme and its approach, which can be found below.

SAFE is led by Ecorys with Social Development Direct as the lead technical partner. It is delivered by development NGOs – Caritas Zimbabwe in Chikomba, and Self-Help Development Foundation and Mwenezi Development Training Centre in Mwenezi. In Chiredzi, it is led by Plan International Zimbabwe and layered on to cash transfer programmes run by WFP. The response component is led by Musasa across the three districts.

Project highlights

Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation (SAFE) Programme, Zimbabwe - Introductory Slides

Cover slide

Check out this resource, which provides an overview of the Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation Programme in Zimbabwe. 

Story of Change: The impact of Toose programme in the Mwenezi District

Woman carrying a full crate of chicken eggs

From SAFE and Toose, this story of change highlights Siziwe Zigomo's journey from relying on others due to her disability to starting her own poultry project in her community. 

Meet the Team

Netty Musanhu, Team Leader

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Netty is the Team Leader for the FCDO funded Stopping Abuse and Female Exploitation against Women and Girls. (SAFE) She has overall responsibility of program, technical and team management in Zimbabwe. Netty has over 20 years experience in designing, implementing and managing gender, GBV, HIV/AIDS and conflict and peace building interventions in international NGOs, local NGOs, WROs and Constitutional Commissions in Zimbabwe.

Kate Bishop, Associate Director, Technical Team

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Kate has a strong track record in policy and influencing, programming and team leadership. She applies feminist principles to policy development and programme design as well as to her leadership approach. She is committed to improving partnerships and collaboration within development practice to redistribute power.  

Bekezela Mapanda, GBV Technical Lead

Bekezela Mapanda image

Bekezela is the GBV Technical Lead for SAFE (Communities). She is primarily responsible for the design and implementation of prevention and response interventions including supporting implementing partners in implementing the Toose package in communities. Bekezela is a gender specialist who possesses 15 years of experience in the development sector, focusing on initiatives aimed at advancing gender equality, empowering women, advocating for women's rights, and addressing gender-based violence (GBV).

Tsitsi Phiri, MEL Lead

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Tsitsi Phiri is Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Lead for the SAFE programme. In this role she is the technical lead for the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Output within the SAFE (Communities) programme and is primarily responsible for the design and implementation of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework for the programme which entails ensuring that the SAFE Communities Theory of Change (ToC), logical framework (LF) and associated monitoring tools and processes are coherent and cohesive and can be used to generate reliable data concerning progress in implementation.

Claire Hughes, Results and Evidence Advisor

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Claire Hughes is SAFE’s Results and Evidence Adviser. She’s provided technical support to the design and implementation of SAFE’s monitoring, evaluation and learning system, ensuring it generates evidence to inform programme adaptation and to expand the evidence base on what works to prevent GBV. Claire has played a key role in facilitating SAFE's learning and adaptation processes and has interfaced with the programme's independent evaluation team, ensuring the evaluation aligned well with the programme's technical design and own internal monitoring. 

Lusungu Kalanga, Principal Consultant

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Lusungu is a Malawian feminist activist with over 12 years’ experience in Women and girls’ rights work focusing on prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Southern Africa. She has technical expertise in designing, adapting and implementing gender transformative approaches for VAWG prevention and response and capacity strengthening for organisations/practitioners of VAWG prevention programmes. Lusungu has experience and expertise in feminist movement building and is part of the advisory cycles of African feminist movement building initiatives including Eyala and Feministing While African.

Tina Musuya, Head of Gender-Based Violence Portfolio

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Tina has over 16 years of experience working with communities, police, civil society, local government, and policy makers to prevent VAW mainly in the East African region. She brings deep knowledge and understanding of effective programming to prevent violence against women in the development settings, including ensuring that the programs are gender transformative and based on feminist principles. She led colleagues at CEDOVIP to address challenges of mediation in domestic violence cases through responsibility sessions in a way that is significantly different and safer for all involved than traditional mediation has been, led the process for development of the GBV Risk Mitigation and Prevention Strategy for the Green Climate Project Uganda.  She also helped draft and successfully campaigned for passage of the Domestic Violence Act in Uganda.

Area of work this relates to

Staff working on this project