The visiting Italian First lady Laura Mattarella has commended her counterpart, Mutinta Hichilema for coming up with the “Stay in School Initiative project” which is aimed at keeping girls in school.
Ms Mattarella said the initiative is excellent as it also empowers women and youths with skills on how to make reusable sanitary towels thereby making them self-reliant.
Ms Mattarella said this today when she visited the “Stay in School Initiative project in woodlands with her counterpart Mutinta Hichilema.
And Mrs Hichilema said about 185 women from across the country have so far been trained in making reusable sanitary towels.
She said the project will be rolled out countrywide as it has received overwhelming response from the general public and cooperating partners.
Mrs Hichilema stated that the project is being implemented with other stakeholders such as traditional leaders and head teachers among others.
She noted that with the free education policy that government introduced there was a big gap with regards to girls not attending classes especially in rural areas hence the reason for the establishment of the project of making reusable sanitary towels.
Mrs Hichilema disclosed that some cooperating partners have come on board and donated sewing machines and other materials to the project.
Earlier, Italian President Sergio Mattarella has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to support Zambia reach an understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on its debt restructuring programme.
Mr Mattarella said his country is ready to help Zambia in its economic recovery trajectory.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on President Hichilema at State house today, Mr Mattarella said this is one way of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Italy stands ready to help Zambia in many sectors of the economy such as Mining, Agriculture, health and education among others. Zambia is a beacon of peace and a promoter of democratic tenets,” he said.
He explained that Italy is committed to further strengthen ties with Zambia by setting up businesses and infrastructure development among others across the country.
Mr Mattarella also praised Zambia for its resolve to fight corruption saying the vice retards economic development.
And President Hakainde Hichilema hailed Italy for the huge contributions it renders to Zambia in all sectors of the economy such as energy, Agriculture among others.
Mr Hichilema noted that the coorporation between the two countries spans many years ago when successful leaders of Italy and Zambia initiated a warm relationship.
The President further called on Italy to support Zambia in its journey to access the IMF bailout which is expected to cushion the country’s challenges in many sectors of the economy.
“Indeed Zambia is grateful for Italy’s contributions and support in all the sectors of the economy especially in energy, education, agriculture among others,” he said.
Mr Hichilema added that Zambia is endowed with mineral resources which needs value addition, stating that Italy can help in that area in a bid to transform the country.
He further assured Italy of Zambia’s continuous upholding of democratic tenets, peace and stability in order to foster social and economic development as democracy is the hallmark of development.
The President commended his Italian counterpart for visiting Zambia as the move will spur deeper mutual understanding between the two countries.
The Italian President who is accompanied by First Lady Laura Mattarella arrived in the country yesterday.