16 February 2011

Zambia: Anglicans Withdraw 300 Children From Child Labour

THE Livingstone Anglican Church Project (LACP) has withdrawn about 300 children from various townships of the city who were previously engaged in child labour activities such as crushing of stones, director Emmanuel Chikoya has said.

LACP also managed to prevent 400 children from engaging in child labour activities with the support of the European Union (EU) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) since the project started in 2008.

Reverend Chikoya said the 300 children withdrawn from child labour activities in areas such as Ngenya, Dambwa and Nakatindi in Livingstone underwent schooling at the Anglican Church premises.

He was speaking in Livingstone yesterday when a delegation from LACP and ILO paid a courtesy call on Livingstone District Commissioner, Francis Chika.

Rev Chikoya said the 400 children prevented from child labour activities were supported with all educational materials and were taken to various Government schools in Livingstone.

LACP also sensitised parents on the dangers of child labour issues and helped parents with various goods and other facilities worth K500,000 each to sustain their livelihood.

"As you may be aware, parents are the ones who allow their children to engage in child labour due to high poverty levels.

"So we had to give parents blankets, cooking oil, mealie-meal, rice and other goods to deter them from allowing their children engaging in child labour," he said.

Speaking at the same meeting, Mr Chika thanked the Anglican Church for partnering with the Government in addressing various challenges in society such as child labour.

Mr Chika said there were few children roaming the streets of Livingstone because the Anglican Church had withdrawn them.

"It is not good to just criticise the Government and say the State has failed in this or that area. The Government is addressing so many issues such as building schools and hospitals, hence other partners such as churches and NGOs should help us in addressing issues of child labour," he said.

ILO national coordinator Mukatimui Chabala commended LACP and the Government for supporting efforts aimed at curbing child labour.

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