By: Patience Shawarira
Patience Shawarira holds a Masters degree in Environment Education from Rhodes University in South Africa. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology, in Zimbabwe. She is an experienced Research and Communications Specialist who has worked in this capacity in the NGO sector in Zimbabwe where she planned and coordinated events, managed the communications portfolio for different organisations as well as their social media and website pages, edited research reports, research papers, programme reports and wrote news and blog articles for over 5 years. She has work experience working in the media, democracy and governance sector. Her areas of expertise include Communications, Event Management, and Project Management.
Patience is a great team player who is passionate about rural community development and is looking to continue to build and develop her career in this area. She provided Leadership for the development of the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum Communication Strategy and subsequently its 5 year strategy that responds to media professionalism, and ethical reporting for journalists and editors. She was appointed National Coordinator for the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum. She has written published book chapters for the Association for Progressive Communications and for the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. She was identified by Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa as a winner of one of the Institute's most prestigious scholarships for Women Media Leaders in Africa. She was a winner of the Paradigm Initiative media fellowship for a four months course in Digital Rights and Inclusion Issues in Africa.
In 2018, she worked as a Program Specialist for the Amanzi for Food project, at Rhodes University, where she assisted in developing, implementing, evaluating and improving campaigns, programs, projects and related activities on rainwater harvesting and conservation practices. She has also facilitated the production of monthly radio programmes which were aired on Fort FM radio station. She has also worked as a research assistant for the Amanzi for Food project, and her work involved conceptualising and designing a contextual profile on climate change adaptation and rainwater harvesting and conservation practises with farmers from rural Eastern Cape.
She developed and led a research consultancy for Global Information Society Watch and Association for Progressive Communications, where she was exploring issues of sustainable development, the climate crises and open data agenda in the context of Zimbabwe. Outcome from this research was used to come up with a book chapter on Technology, the environment and a sustainable world; Responses from the Global South.
She has extensive work experience in project coordination having worked as Project Coordinator for the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum. She has also worked as an Information Officer for the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe. Her work in Media NGOs involved developing information and advocacy materials, research and project management.
Patience is very keen to promote small holder subsistence farming in Zimbabwe, by helping farmers in rural areas come up with innovative ways of enhancing their agricultural produce.
She looks forward to using her experiences to serve YPARD Zimbabwe as Co-Country Representative by leveraging on her knowledge of agriculture and community development, communications and research skills as well as her expertise in strategic communications to enhance rural small scale farmers' agricultural practices and sustainable food production.
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