UPLIFT Project empowers Traditional Leaders with 138 bicycles to fight child marriage
By Justin Njovu, Communications Officer, Zambia
World Vision Zambia, through the European Union Zambia funded project ‘Urban and Rural Programme for Learners’ Inclusion, Foundation, and Transformation through Education Action ‘UPLIFT’ has handed 138 bicycles valued at K300,000 ($18,750 US) to nine (9) chiefdoms in the Eastern Lundazi and Lumezi districts, to support advocacy activities, including ending child marriages and child abuse.
Speaking during the handover, UPLIFT project Manager Chibuye Mwila said the bicycles would intensify reporting cases and follow-ups on child marriages and abuse among girls and children with disabilities.
“Long distances have challenged the community working groups and traditional leaders to respond to children’s needs when in distress; hence the bicycles will enhance the sensitization on the importance of early childhood education, and advocating for children with disabilities are sent to school," said Ms. Mwila.
And Senior Chief Mphamba thanked World Vision and FAWEZA for organizing a review meeting with the nine chiefs in Lundazi and Lumezi because the event highlighted challenges and opportunities in advocacy for education in the districts.
The bicycles will help the palaces to disseminate information to remote villages on dangers of child marriages while promoting education for girls.
The senior chief has urged parents in his chiefdom not to send children to weekly markets called Bwandila because illicit activities characterize the markets and observed that activities at the market have advanced, eloping for school-going children in his area.
Chiefs present at the handover ceremony included Snr Chief Mwase-Lundazi, Chief Mphamba, Chief Kapichila, Chief Zumwanda, Chikomeni, Chiefteness Mwanya, Chief Chitungulu, Chief Kazembe, Chiefteness Mwase Mphangwe.