Inspiration for Chitungwiza residents against child marriages
- By:Rumbidzai Chingoveza
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A NEW ray of hope for Chitungwiza girl child is being looked upon as it emerged that a local charity organisation is recruiting field officers on the subject.
Having been dominant in Kuwadzana raising awareness against child abuse, Watchman Relief Organisation (WRO) is at it again but this time in Chitungwiza.
The organisation seeks to rescue vulnerable girl child from forces and voices of the nation’s economic meltdown and bring transformation in their lives through counselling and introduction to self-help projects.
Speaking during a three-day workshop in partnership with MSU Enactus group which ran from the 19th of this Month to yesterday, Tendai Zhou the event manager expressed his excitement in the journey undertaken by WRO saying it will help bring to life what religion has killed in girl children.
“Chitungwiza records the highest rate of people who believe in apostolic religions where child marriages are very common.
“Amongst the core causes, poverty in Seke area is also another factor forcing girls to marry at a tender age. At some point it will be parents marrying off their daughters in order to do away with the responsibility and have gains from the in-laws.
“Another thing, because of internet children nowadays are getting exposure to sexual activities earlier than it was back then. As a result girl children are coincidentally getting pregnant before they are fully matured thus leading to child marriages,” he said.
Zhou underscored some of the challenges they are going through as a group in trying to engage some victims and parents to join hands in teaching the Chitungwiza community about the subject matter.
“At first we faced a lot of resistance especially with the young generation; they did not want to cooperate with us.
“Victims of child marriages were in denial yet we needed to engage some in the group for effective communication to every girl child out there who need this support.
“Some of them failed to accommodate our teachings and proposals because of fear of their husbands,” said Zhou.
She went on to highlight on the future plans and what they are hoping for in Chitungwiza through their programme.
“We are hoping for a positive cooperation by Chitungwiza community in achieving zero tolerance to child abuse.
“We also looking forward to acceptance by the young generation that child marriage should not be tolerated as the girl child will be the most affected part in that coincidence.
“In effort to achieve that we are going to carry out vigorous educational sessions in schools where children are found most and to parents so that they won’t contribute to child marriages,” said Zhou.
“I encourage other organisations to join hands with WRO in supporting the idea of ending child marriages.
“It’s not only Chitungwiza area which is affected but the whole nation. Working together will help us achieve the goal which will last for the generations to come.”
WRO director Dr Nathaniel KudakwaMwari said he is looking forward to positively give hope to the girls whose lives went off track as a reason of child marriages.
“The training is shading some light and they will continue giving hope to the victims of child marriages.
“Their gruelling experiences are also going to cause an impact to the membe4rs of communities they shall be working as we are developing them to be trainers and care givers.
“The workshop was fruitful in that it availed knowledge and skills on how to identify risk and it also prompted the safe guarding of children across the nation by generating ideas to effective awareness campaigns,” he said.