By Kambani Phiri, Communications Specialist, Zambia
World Vision in Zambia, Zanaco Bank PLC, and CFAO Motors have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) worth K1.7 million ($104,190 US dollars) to support the Strong Girls Strong Zambia campaign activities that will see the three organisations empowering girls retrieved from child marriage and those at risk, with educational support. The MoU signing ceremony was at World Vision in Zambia Head Office on 31st October 2022.
Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony, World Vision Zambia National Director John Hasse said local investments in the lives of children, especially girls were key to ending child marriage and giving girls a better future.
“Through this MoU, CFAO motors Zambia, Zanaco Bank PLC, and World Vision in Zambia commit to collaborate in the successful implementation of campaign activities related to the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), education, and livelihood sectors under the campaign in order to offer practical and sustainable solutions to girls who are retrieved from marriages and those at risk of the vice, for a successful fight against child marriage,” said Mr. Hasse.
He also called on men and boys to support the cause and be front runners in protecting and promoting girls' education in the communities.
“We want girls to have the same opportunities as boys and this calls for all of us to change the narrative, and through this partnership, we have role models who can help change the narrative and shape the future for the girls.”
CFAO Motors Zambia Chief Executive Officer Dino Bianchi was excited to continue working with World Vision Zambia in empowering girls because the organization has a proven track record of transparency and integrity in managing resources.
CFAO is proud to be part of this important initiative to support young girls and help them get on the right track as they start their journey through life,” said Mr. Bianchi. “We are happy to work with World Vision because it has a proven record of quality work and integrity in managing resources. This is the sixth school we will be building together.
The CFAO Motors Zambia CEO urged the Zambian government to invest more in the education sector through the Ministry of Education.
“Education is key to helping girls start a productive journey of life, and I urge the Ministry of Education to invest further in schools and teachers so the whole nation will benefit from nurturing well-educated and productive girls who will contribute meaningfully to society and the economy. It is an exciting prospect that more corporates should recognise and support.”
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the ZANACO CEO Mukwandi Chibesakunda, Head of Client Solutions, Corporate Communication and Marketing Chanda Chime Katongo said child marriage was detrimental to national development as it robs girls a chance to thrive economically.
We are conversant that the fight against early marriages will take concerted efforts to ensure the attainment of the sustainable development goal of ending child marriage by 2030. As a bank that places importance on gender parity, we will continue to support initiatives that ensure our girls and young women have access to equal opportunities in life.
As part of the actualisation of the MoU, the three partners have also embarked on constructing a school ablution block with modern menstrual washroom facilities and a 1x3 classroom block at Kanchomba Secondary School in Pemba district at the cost of K1.7 million. CFAO and ZANACO will provide financial resources to World Vision Zambia, and World Vision will provide overall project implementation and accountability.
World Vision Zambia, on 30th September 2022, launched the Strong Girls Strong Zambia Campaign that aims to support girls retrieved from child marriage and those at risk in all our operation areas. The campaign aims to reduce child marriage from 29% to 5% in World Vision Zambia’s areas of operation by reaching and empowering 15,000 girls both retrieved from child marriages and those at risk to live safer, healthier, more productive lives by 2025.
The campaign duration is from October 2022 to September 2025.
With high rates of child marriages in Zambia, currently estimated at 29%, many children continue to experience:
- multiple violations of children’s rights,
- limited or no education and
- limited economic opportunities.
The campaign will provide practical and sustainable solutions through the educational support of girls who are retrieved from marriages and those at risk of the vice, for a successful fight against child marriage.
The campaign has 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 will keep 5,000 girls in school by 2025.
- To economically empower 1,500 families of vulnerable girls and those retrieved from marriages by 2025, benefiting 7,500 children.
World Vision Zambia is currently implementing the Ending Child Marriage Campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the effects of child marriages and influence policy change, and ignite a movement of people committed to keeping children safe from harm.
ECM Campaign is an integrated, multi-sectoral response that leverages World Vision Zambia's other program sectors to address the root causes or enablers of child marriages and contribute efforts to retrieve children from marriages.
With these efforts, several milestones have been achieved in the last three years that World Vision Zambia has implemented the campaign, with more than rescued 936 girls from child marriages out of thousands married.
Read more about the Ending Child Marriage Campaign.