NATIONAL Junior Councils Association of Zimbabwe (NJCAZ) has set August 27 to 31 as the dates for this year’s third edition of the national conference to be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
The week-long conference will run under the theme Creating a Zimbabwe that is Youth and Child friendly at Senior and Junior Local Government Structures.
Different child-led groups, junior parliamentarians and junior councils will take part at the conference.
Speaking to NewsDay, NJCAZ president Shingirirai Chikazhe said the conference was aimed at assisting the sitting councils to keep the structures sustainable and well-focused on developing their communities to be child friendly.
“The conference will focus on developing the capacity of junior councils to be able to plan and implement meaningful developmental activities for the betterment of lives of the disadvantaged children in different societies,” Chikazhe said.
“All the 11 junior councils across the country will converge to share experience and what they want to achieve as far as advocating for children’s rights during their term of office.”
Chikazhe said the conference would help to create links among different child-led groups to ensure the sharing of experiences and working together to advocate for children’s issues at national level with one voice.
“Relevant authorities must help junior councils to be effective in their programming as they lack capacity, knowledge and the skills to push for children’s issues and interface the responsible authorities to address children’s concerns,” he said.
According to the proposed programme, NJCAZ will co-ordinate the activities of the conference and allocation of time to events and monitoring the stay of all participants and the implementation of the conference.
“The conference will also discuss issues of resuscitating and starting junior councils in towns and rural councils where they do not exist and this will be done in October,” Chikazhe said.
“Victoria Falls junior council will host the conference and this will allow it for the first time since its formation to
interact with other junior councils and acquire knowledge of other councils’ operation through networking and knowledge-sharing.”
NJCAZ was established in 2011 with six junior councils namely Mvurwi, Harare, Marondera, Kadoma, Bulawayo and Gweru to bring together all the junior councils in the country and have their activities coordinated under one body.
The formation of NJCAZ has seen junior councils working together towards the promotion of children’s rights and ensuring that their voices are heard regarding issues that affects them.