WORLD Vision and ABSA Bank Zambia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Strong Girls, Strong Zambia’ campaign aimed at uplifting the lives of vulnerable girls in the country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony World Vision National Director John Hasse the MoU was a significant step in transforming the lives of vulnerable children, especially girls who were at the greatest risk of child marriages in Zambia.
Mr Hasse said it was a known fact that child marriage was a devastating form of child abuse as it did not only harm the development and well-being of girls through limited education and employment opportunities but also exposed girls to sexually transmitted diseases and perpetuated generational poverty.
He said the “Strong girls strong Zambia’ campaign was anchored on the current campaign on ending child marriage, which addressed the causes and effects of child marriages in Zambia.
The Strong girls strong Cambia campaign was an integrated, multi-sectoral response that leveraged World Vision Zambia’s other programme sectors to address the root causes or enablers of child marriages and contributed efforts to retrieve children from marriages.
He said the campaign would run for three years, 2022 to 2025 and would facilitate the development of an USS 8 million fund that would offer practical and sustainable solutions through education empowerment to 15,000 girls retrieved from child marriages and wanted to go back to school.
Mr Hasse said the campaign had three objectives; to support 6,000 vulnerable girls withdrawn from marriages in and out of school with educational requirements by 2025, to develop infrastructure in 29 schools to provide a conducive learning environment that would keep 5,000 girls in school by 2025.
He said the project would also economically empower 1,500 families of vulnerable girls and those retrieved from marriages by 2025, benefiting 7,500 children.
He said his organisation was excited to have a partner like ABSA Bank make a commitment to support the campaign to end child marriage and to see that the girl-child reached her full potential.
He said ABSA Bank had in the past partnered with World Vision on the construction of a one by three classroom block at Chipapa secondary school in Chilanga at a cost over K606, 575 where it provided 60 percent of the finding.
They also donated K82,000 towards the procurement of desks to equip the new classrooms besides donating assorted foodstuff and groceries for the school weekly boarders.