The Division is managed by a Social Services Manager who is charged with the responsibility to provide services that promote the welfare of the marginalised residents of the City of Harare through socio-economic empowerment, poverty alleviation programmes and the caring of the physical and psychological well being of the residents through cultural, sporting and recreational activities at the various community centres in the city.
The Division also spearheads implementation of programmes designed to uplift the welfare of targeted groups in the community. Programmes include inter alia those ear marked to fight against Sexual and Gender Violence, and all other forms of violence, the HIV/AIDS scourge, poverty alleviation and many others.
Services are normally rendered in the areas of women, youth, arts and cultural development, sport and recreation, aquatic (swimming) services and general community development. The successful delivery of the services continued to depend on the assistance from private companies, individual community members and non governmental organisations (NGOs). Council has not been able to avail funds to drive community programmes for the past decade.
Women's programmes embarked upon are mostly in pursuit of the goal of empowering them socially and economically. Programmes usually take the form of centralised skills training, networking with private organisations for funding and creating an enabling environment for setting up income generating projects in Greater Harare. Women clubs continue to be a major activity at various community centres. The bulk of the clubs are involved in baking, savings, dressmaking, batik, interior decor, grocery buying and sharing.
Chinembiri Women's Training Centre
The training centre offers year long courses in cutting and design and catering. The centre also offers dressmaking and baking courses. The centre was privileged to receive an array of very useful sewing equipment donated to the city by Oxfam and Zimpro as the Joint Initiatives (JI).
General Women's Development Activities
The division continued to mobilise women groups for various developmental activities at community centre level. An array of organisations came on board to augment the City's efforts to empower the marginalised women and the girl child so that they can become self reliant in life.
Private Sector Involvement In Women's Programmes
It has become very common for some commercial companies in partnership with the City to provide educational and developmental services to women's groups at council community centres. There is an increase in companies coming on board as partners to enhance women's club activities.
In an effort to make community centres independent, Reckitt/Benkiser and Brand Interface in 2011 donated 13 four plate stoves and 2 gas stoves for use by women clubs at community centres. Reckitt/Benkiser and Brand Interface represents 10 companies namely Irvines Chickens, Colcom, Danone, National Foods, Dariboard, Pharmanova, Tanganda Tea, Netrad, Unilever and C.A.B.S. The donation will go a long way in capacitating women programmes given the inability of council to buy the same over the years. Reckitt/Benkiser also undertook a major refurbishment exercise of the Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare as a community service to the City of Harare, aimed at promoting women activities. The Hall was refurbished in its totality.
The major objectives of the City’s youth development programmes are to keep youth occupied and away from mischief and other anti social behaviours. The youth programmes also aims at empowering the youth to be economically self sufficient. This is achieved through enabling the youth to embark on some income generating activities. The most common of these is visual and performing arts which dominates the youth sphere.
Budiriro Youth Centre Training Programme
The center offer training for cutting and designing, interior décor and pottery. Enrolment at the centre has remained very low over the years due to lack of publicity and shortage of training equipment.
Sports and Recreation Section
Programmes continue to be affected by the shortage of sporting equipment such as balls and uniforms owing to the unavailability of a Council budget to fund the same.
City of Harare has a total of 13 swimming pools in different locations around the city which are used for different aquatic events by various organizations which include schools, pre-schools, the army, the police, clubs and individuals. All the 13 swimming pools as listed below are in good working order, unavailablity of water in some areas may cause temporary closure of the pools.
- Les Brown Pool
- Mt Pleasant Pool
- George Hartley Pool
- Highlands Pool
- Cranbourne Pool
- Mabelreign Pool
- Mc Donald Park Pool
- Greendale Pool
- Mufakose Pool
- Hatfield Pool
- Highfields Pool
- Waterfalls Pool
- Arcadia Pool