Friday, August 07, 2009

Sikaneta bemoans rising number of OVCs

Sikaneta bemoans rising number of OVCs
Written by Mwila Chansa in Kitwe
Friday, August 07, 2009 2:50:34 PM

SPORT, youth and child development permanent secretary Susan Sikaneta has observed that unfavourable social conditions, coupled with HIV and AIDS and high poverty levels, have continued to negatively impact on the well-being of children and youths.

And Zambia National Service (ZNS) skills training commanding officer Major Innocent Chileshe said the camp was facing challenges in terms of providing certain infrastructure needed in the training of youths.

Launching the third intake of the 2009 ZNS youth skills training programme in Kitwe yesterday, Ambassador Sikaneta noted that it was saddening that the number of orphans and vulnerable children had kept rising.

“Unfortunately, this is the category of children with little or no access to basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and affection. They are also more likely to be sidelined, exploited and abused,” Ambassador Sikaneta said.

She said there was therefore need for society to ensure that it invested in education, health, and food and nutrition for children and youths for their survival and development because theirs was a segment of the population that would shoulder the countryís responsibility for years to come.

And Ambassador Sikaneta urged the new trainees to ensure that they focused on their empowerment for self sustainability.

“You should consider yourselves lucky that you were picked for this programme because there are so many vulnerable youths out there who would have loved to be here today. We had more than one million people who wanted to be considered but we only took 150 here and 315 at Chiwoko,” said Ambassador Sikaneta.

And Major Chileshe said the training camp needed facilities such as a library, computer laboratory, resource centre as well as sports and recreation facilities.

He said the camp was also facing a challenge in accommodating instructors and officers.

Major Chileshe called for the absorption of graduates from ZNS skills camps into proper programmes to avert the possibility of them falling back into their previous lifestyles.

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