A group of twins have teamed up to form an association that is meant to uplift the livelihoods of twins in Zimbabwe especially those from vulnerable communities.
The organisation is running under the banner Twins Association of Zimbabwe and its mandate is to uplift the lives of twins in Zimbabwe through lobbying, advocacy, representation and funding of social services.
The association targets to help twins from vulnerable communities.
It operates through four departments namely the Medical Aid, Legal Aid, Funeral Policy and Social services.
The association was founded by twins Mayor Tendai Katonha and his brother Lawyer Farai Katonha.
“We have done a survey around the country and learnt that 75% of twins are coming from vulnerable societies and them being a minority group, twins are always born facing many challenges than a child who has been born alone,” said Mayor.
“Whenever a mother gives birth to twins she is supposed to buy everything double from infancy stage until they probably finish university hence you see most twins end up not successful in school or some dropout of school,” he added.
Mayor said with the current economic hardships in the country, parents with twins tend to suffer most due to the demands that are always doubled every time.
“We consider ourselves a minority group hence we want to be treated as such getting preferential especially in paying school fees, examination fees and other statutory obligations”.
“Parents are currently raising funds to register for ordinary level examination fees and everyone is complaining of the absurd amounts being charged by (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council)ZIMSEC, imagine the burden to a parent with twins who are set to write their examination,” Lawyer said.
He further said his association has since written to the minister of education Cain Matema to extend deadline for registration for November examinations up to May 2020, but said in the future they would lobby for reduction of examination fees for twin candidates.
The association is also raising funds in order to pay for 50 pairs of twins (100 Children) who are seating for the November 2020 examinations.
The organisation works with various schools enrolling twins over the country to raise awareness of the problems they face when growing up.
The association plans to lobby for laws that will see the twins in Zimbabwe getting government assistance like the BEAM program, food assistance and other social services.
The twins said they were working with various community leaders to push for the improvement of the lives of twins and are working with Wedza member of Parliament Tinoda Machakaire.
“In Wedza we are working with Honourable Machakaire whom we approached for assistance after identifying some twins who were facing challenges financially and he has pledged to help us.”
“We have also met with the First Lady who has also given birth to twins and she has offered to give us her full support since she is a mother of twins she knows the pain and challenges of raising twins,” Lawyer added.
The association has already appointed the First Lady as their patron.