By Theophilus Chuma
The protection and advocacy for the rights of thousands of girls living in rural communities has come under the spotlight through an initiative promoting the restoration of moral values and dignity among teenagers.
The erosion of cultural values has exposed the girl child to social ills with most of them being forced into early pregnancies and marriages.
” We have many children who are getting married at young ages some at form 4 and others just after completing their grade 7 studies,” said Chief Musana.
To help restore values and protect the country’s social fabric, the First Lady and the country’s health ambassador, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa is working with spouses of traditional leaders to help restore the dignity of the girl child.
It was therefore not surprising that protection of the girl child was high on agenda at a meeting convened this Monday at Nyava Primary School in Bindura which was attended by the First Lady and spouses of traditional leaders from Mashonaland Central Province.
For the young ambassadors, their work is cut out.
However, they cannot do it alone with the need for a support structure vital hence traditional leaders’ spouses have been challenged to help sustain cultural values within their communities.
The First Lady’s efforts have not gone unnoticed with the local leadership welcoming the initiative as a step in the right direction.
Under a programme to combat moral decadence among teenagers in rural communities, the First Lady will work with spouses of traditional leaders from all the eight rural provinces.
These platforms will also be utilised to scale up women empowerment initiatives to improve incomes and food security at the household level.
Small scale traders and farmers from Mashonaland Central Province showcased some of their projects, with the First Lady encouraging enhanced participation.
Meanwhile, the First Lady has also extended a humanitarian hand to expecting mothers, while thousands of vulnerable families, including the elderly, were also supported through essentials.
The community leadership also chipped in with supplies of basic commodities to support the First Lady’s philanthropic work.