Lack of parental guidance, moral and financial support exposes children to all forms of abuse which stunt their growth and diminish their potential, child representatives have said.
By Phyllis Mbanje
Speaking during a meeting last Saturday hosted by World Education Inc.
Bantwana (WEI/B, young people drawn from all over the country lamented the lack of support from parents, a situation which they said was contributing to early marriages and all sorts of youth delinquencies.
The children are part of the Child Advisory Board (CAB), a group of empowered children selected from beneficiaries who sit as a board and are consulted by organisations on activities conducted within their programs.
The CAB is attached to an organisation but works in line with existing structures in their community such as Child-led Child Protection Committees (CPCs).
“We need our parents to support us and encourage us to stay in school. It is good also if they take interest in our school work and even issues that affect us,” said outspoken Samantha Muswizu from Mazowe district.
Assani Saidi also from Mazowe said children were often misunderstood and when they go through different phases in their life those around them do not take the time to listen to their concerns.
“Children often feel desperate merely because they are largely dependent on someone for their upkeep. This robs them of that sense of security and that is why we are requesting enormous support from our guardians,” he said.
Saidi explained that raging hormones of teenagers are at times difficult to control and needed an understanding parent, guardian or community.
Also speaking at the same function gospel artiste Olivia Charamba who is an ambassador in the fight against gender based violence along with Cynthia Mare and Alexio Kawara, said parents were not taking their role seriously.
“Parents have a role to play in shaping the future of their children by counselling and guiding them. It is wrong when some parents become greedy and marry off their children for financial benefit,” she said.
The talented musician said the underlying cause was poverty but there were other ways of raising money without compromising their children’s future development.
WEI/Zimbabwe supports the government ‘s efforts through existing programmes to strengthen family-centered, community-based approaches for comprehensive Orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) care and support and rebuild government capacity to deliver quality, and comprehensive social services.