By Innocent Daka
Child Fund Zambia has given out education materials in prizes worth over K15,000.00 to school boys and girls for participating in a child engagement event involving three districts of Lusaka, Chibombo and Kafue.
The materials handed out over-the-weekend included six Z-edu i-pads, hundreds exercise books, school bags and mathematical sets.
The event held at Mthengo Community Association in Lusaka West, saw pupils from Chibombo, Lusaka and Kafue battle it out in different quiz and debate competition.
The Fund sponsorship director Chola Chifukushi said the child engagement activity is one of the Fund’s initiatives, held in the presence of parents and other community members, aimed at raising awareness on issues of child protection against abuse.
Speaking earlier at the same event, Lusaka Provincial Child Development Coordinator Fidelis Mboma urged teachers in schools to take interest in reading the national child policy.
Mr Mboma said reading the child policy will help teachers to better understand the issues of child protection and contribute to ending abuse in communities.
“The national child policy helps to understand why participation of children in everything from homes, to schools and in the community is important. It also has information on child protection and empowerment,” he said.
He disclosed that 42 percent of married girls in Lusaka were married before the age of 18, describing the situation as worrying given that there are serious health complications when girls are married young while they also lose out on education.
The provincial child coordinator also urged parents to start allowing their children to participate in decision making that affect their welfare.
He said child participation in decision making is important in raising self-esteem in children and allows them to pursue their interests and excel other than when things are imposed on them.
“Most people have become failures in life because parents wanted them to do engineering when the child’s interest and ability was somewhere else, maybe in sports,” Mr Mboma said.