Churches have been urged to embrace peer engagements among youths to combat gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuse.
Speaking to the media shortly after touching down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport leader of The United Apostolic Faith Church, Arch-bishop Busani Sibanda expressed his desire to realise effective and efficient utilisation of digital mechanisms as means of engagement.
"Our research and observations about demographic groups engaging in gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuse have shown that youths have become both victims and perpetrators of this scourge," Sibanda said.
"Youths should only, therefore, get engaged in the digital context and content of their realities which have become their daily routines.
“They are well vested with capacities and capabilities to spread information through cyberspace, hence shaping up societal and community narratives among their peers,
"It is through digital platforms that we noted the impact of youths' conversations or participation in digital spaces where we noted manifestation, escalation and de-escalation of conflicts in societies.”
Sibanda said he wanted to take advantage of the church's youth conference to reach out to the youths.
"The church leadership has, therefore, organised this conference to be held during celebrations of my birthday to show the youths that my life is dedicated to them and also, empowering them to develop as sense of ownership and responsibility,” he said.
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“This gives an opportunity for youth champions within the church to influence, teach and train their peers on social, economic, moral and cultural uprightness where churches become centres of excellence in transforming societies for the positives,”
The United Apostolic Faith Church has been active in campaigning against gender-based violence, drugs and substance abuses.
In the past the church has been involved in educational awareness campaigns, visual arts, dramas, testimonies and awards, among others.