Nomvelo Siziba, Chronicle Reporter
A CIVIL society group in Victoria Falls has started a programme to educate teenage girls about different kinds of abuse and gender-based violence.
The awareness was inspired by situations where some youths are lured into drug and alcohol abuse especially during the festive season. This comes at a time when the country has joined the world in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.
Addressing about 100 Mosi-oa-Tunya High School pupils on Thursday, Ms Judith Muteke, the founder of The Able Women Association said the idea was to capacitate the girl child to identify abuse and gender-based violence.
“Most children drop out of school because they engage in actions that have dire consequences. Our message is clear, let’s abstain from sexual intercourse and drug abuse so we avoid early and unplanned pregnancies as well as child marriage.
“Girls are wonderfully and fearfully made hence our appeal that you don’t destroy your future by having sexual intercourse at a tender age as there are regrettable results which include sexually transmitted diseases. We are heading into the festive season where a lot of fun activities take place and this is where a lot of us will do things that we will regret doing at the end of the day. The message is clear, let’s stay away from trouble,” she said.
Ms Muteke said one of her organisation’s mandates is to distribute sanitary pads to the girl child.
“We have a project where we are giving sanitary pads and our pilot school is Ndlovu Secondary. We noticed that pads are now expensive hence this exposes the girl child as some men peddle such items on them for sex,” said Ms Muteke.
The Able Women Association is a Victoria Falls-based organisation dealing with issues affecting the girl child, widows and single women and capacitating them through self-help projects and empowerment.
A Mosi-oa-Tunya High School teacher Mrs Tariro Moyo-Musekiwa encouraged pupils to immediately report to parents, school authorities or any member of the society if they are abused. “Let’s be on the lookout for abuse. Once you are in that situation, there are several places that you can go to like the Victim Friendly Unit, church or some organisations. Don’t keep quiet even if you are threatened,” said Mrs Moyo-Musekiwa.
A Form 5 pupil Happiness Mafuta commended the organisers of the programme for educating them on the need to abstain and be on the lookout for abuse and gender-based violence. — @nomvelosiziba