By Tisa Banda. Communications and Donor Liaison Officer.
Children from across various parts of Zambia have implored World Vision Zambia leadership to continue heeding the voice of children as the organisation implements various programs in communities.
The children were speaking during a special children's forum where they interacted with World Vision Zambia National Director, John Hasse and some of the organization’s Child Protection team.
16-year-old Fostina from Kasama, Northern Zambia, commended World Vision for the various initiatives being implemented in her community such as the Menstrual Hygiene Management club and reading camps.
“The girls are taught how to make sanitary pads so that they can go to school even during their monthly periods, and the training of teachers and parents to conduct reading camps for children to learn how to read are welcome,” she says.
Fostina, however, said it was important for the organisation to listen more to the voices of children because there are challenges that only children could echo.
Fostina cited the lack of desks and classroom space in some schools as another challenge faced by many children that need to be addressed.
17-year-old Exhildah of Monze, Southern Zambia called on World Vision to look into the plight of children who need wheelchairs for better mobility as well as train more house parents and improve on the passages for the wheelchairs as they are currently in a bad state at her school.
“I am from an inclusive school. We have both abled and disabled children and it’s difficult for the disabled children to move from home to school. There are not enough house parents too to lift these children and take them to and from school every day,” she said.
Meanwhile,15-year-old George Mubita from Namwala also from southern province urged his fellow children to report any parent hiding their disabled child to their school manager or the police so that that child has a chance to get an education.
And George thanked World Vision for their efforts to teach children about children’s rights to education.
“World Vision is doing its best to help children in communities. Some schools do not have enough classrooms, and world vision is doing its best to build classroom blocks. At one school, there are 1020 pupils, and only 5 teachers, and each class has over 90 pupils.”
And World Vision Zambia National Director John Hasse, said the children are the most important people that the organization and works to ensure that their wellbeing is improved.
He also mentioned that these engagements with children were important as they engage the children so that their voices are amplified to contribute towards the organisation's decision-making process.
World Vision Child Protection and Safeguarding Manager Margaret Phiri said bringing together children at this forum has made it possible for children to be able to have a voice in the decision making of World Vision and its programming.
"Children are at the centre of what World Vision does and therefore it is important to listen to them and ensure the decisions that are being made are for their best interest," she says.