In a bid to eliminate child labour in tobacco growing districts, Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (Creccom) has embarked on a project that has seen it training community members in how they can keep children in school through feeding programmes.
Creccom’s Programmes Officer, Edenzio Nsangwa, said the trainings have been organised to train members of school feeding committees to properly manage school feeding programmes.
“We want community members to take the responsibility of taking care of children by themselves instead of relying on the government and other stakeholders to provide everything for them.
“As a starter pack, we have given committees in various schools farm inputs such as fertilisers, maize and soya bean seeds to cultivate so that they will be able to feed children who are in school,” Nsangwa said.
He said they are also promoting water, sanitation and hygiene as one way of preventing outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.
“After the training, we expect the committee members to play a leading role in all matters to do with school feeding programmes. They will also be expected to mentor people who are to be involved in the programme,” Nsangwa said.
Kapiri Full Primary School Head Teacher in Mchinji District, Rex Chitsanthi, hailed the initiative, saying some members of school committees lack proper knowledge.
“We have seen cases where children at school suffer from diarrhoea because food was not properly prepared. As such, the training will help a lot as it will help stakeholders avoid such scenarios,” Chitsanthi said.
The school feeding project is being implemented by Creccom with funding from Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation.