Position: Founder & Coordinator
Organization: Katswe Sistahood
Diploma in Education and Development Studies from Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College
With and For Girls Award
November 16, 2015
Talent Jumo is a passionate feminist activist from Zimbabwe. A teacher by profession, Talent has 13 years’ experience working on women and health programmes, particularly on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including HIV and AIDS. She joined the Community Working Group on Health in 2005 as a Gender Officer for the HIV programme. Talent co-founded the Young Women’s Leadership Initiative (now Katswe Sistahood) in 2007, and has served Katswe Sistahood as Director since 2012. Katswe Sistahood, winner of the 2015 STARS Global With and For Girls Award, has championed the agenda for movement-building with young women from marginalised communities in Zimbabwe towards the achievement of their SRHR. In her work, Talent has prioritised and supported rights of young women and adolescent girls from marginalised groups, including sex workers, and pushed advocacy for social protection for children sexually exploited for survival. Katswe Sistahood is also convener of Pepeta Africa, an advocacy platform for SRHR activists in Southern Africa. In 2016, Talent was nominated to serve as the Women’s Representative on the Country Coordinating Mechanism against HIV/TB and Malaria, through the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe- Health Cluster. She is a member of the Women for the Global Fund. Through her leadership, the women’s sector in Zimbabwe is mobilized, and engaged in consultative meetings and submitted a priorities charter on engendering the HIV/TB response during the Zimbabwe Funding Request to the Global Fund in 2017. In 2017, Talent became a member of the NGO Delegation to the Global Fund against HIV, TB and malaria. Talent is also the current chair of the Right Here Right Now (Zimbabwe platform), a strategic partnership that envisions a world where young people, in all their diversity, acquire full and uninterrupted access to comprehensive sexuality education, and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion.
“Talent co-founded Katswe Sistahood, a movement building of young women & SRHR. Katswe’s Pachoto Support Circles reach more than 10000 urban &rural girls. Katswe was nominated to lead a CSO Network Advocacy for FP2020 My body, my womb, my rights campaign.
– Tendaishe Changamire, RHRN Zimbabwe, National Coordinator at Population Services Zimbabwe
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.
In 2007, I cofounded Katswe Sistahood whose agenda is creating safe spaces, where girls and young women can be open and honest about their sexual experiences; breaking the silence that surrounds sexual matters; and engaging communities and service providers to confront the stigma associated with contraceptive use by unmarried youth. Today, Katswe supports 60 Pachoto Circles where about 1800 are mobilised for SRHR literacy, community outreach and advocacy.
What sparked your passion for family planning?
I first learnt about emergency contraception from a Sex Worker at the age of 17. In other words, I learnt something so important from someone considered a ‘bad’ woman. She is my hero. Had I fallen pregnant then, that would have been my end of my school life. Too many young women; schools girls; to well-groomed professionals: have hardly enough information on sex, sexuality, conception and contraception. I use every opportunity I get to discuss these topics. I do not mind being called names.
Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:
I initiated and am coordinating the *my body, my womb, my rights* campaign where Katswe moblises young women to advocate and demand comprehensive-youth friendly SRHR services. In 2016, I was nominated to lead a CSO Network Advocacy for FP2020 agenda in Zimbabwe. We engaged Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Education; & Health; on the impact that lack of SRHR services has on girls, from teen pregnancies, forced-child marriage, abject poverty, to being forced to sell sex for survival.
If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?
Promote #TellEveryGirl Campaign; through social media, and printed material. The Campaign will saturate homes, social platforms, and communities with contraceptives stories. We’ll promote short and long term methods, including emergency contraception; and condoms. Portraits & Short videos will be used to generate dialogue on the negative effects of contraceptive stigma, and ignorance. The goal: Every citizen should #TellEveryGirl and support them to access comprehensive SRHR services.