Government has commended Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for partnering with the state in empowering the Zambian child with access to quality health care services, quality early childhood and primary education.

Chisamba District Commissioner, Martin Chowa has noted that CSOs are also empowering Zambian children with economic security and youth empowerment as well as child protection programs.

Mr. Chowa was speaking at Kanakantapa Primary School in Chisamba over the weekend to mark the belated commemorations of the International Day of the African Child organised by Plan International and Sishemo Foundation.

He said it is through the full implementation of the African Charter on the rights of children and involvement of CSOs that the African children shall be empowered.

Chisamba DC expressed optimism that with full partnership of CSOs, Africa will be a continent where the talent of the child will be fully developed, rewarded and protected for the benefit of society.

“The aspiration of all of us by 2063 is an African continent that is people-centred and caring as well as putting children first,” he said.

He added that to cushion the effects of poverty and other social inequalities that will promote inequalities, government will continue to expand the social cash transfer to vulnerable households to ensure equal opportunities for a better future of all the children.

Mr. Chowa called for an immediate end to early marriages and paid tribute to Chief Chamuka for spearheading a vigorous campaign against the vice.

Speaking earlier, a representative from Plan International, Margaret Nankamba, said her organisation realises that empowerment and investment in children are crucial for economic growth, the achievement if all sustainable development goals and eradication of poverty.

Ms. Nankamba said Plan International is also aware that investment in children will lead to poverty eradication as well as the meaningful participation of children in decisions that affect them.

And Sishemo Foundation Executive Director, Joseph Yowela, pledged his firm’s committiment to partnering with other CSOs in helping government in programs that promote children’s rights.

Plan International and Sishemo Foundation have partnered with government in upgrading Kanakantapa primary school from a community school and constructed a health facility in the area.

The two CSOs are engaged in programs that promote children’s rights to education, health, agriculture and community development.

This year’s theme for the International Day of the African Child is ‘Leave no child behind for Zambia’s development’.

The day is commemorated in honour of about 10,000 black school children who marched more than half a mile in the Soweto uprising on June 16, 1976 in South Africa, protesting the poor quality of education and demanding their rights to be taught in their local language.

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