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First Lady launches trust to fight poverty

FIRST Lady Esther Lungu congratulates Unicore Holdings chief executive officer Dhiren Mehta as Zahira Hansa looks on at Government Complex where the Mehta family donated an ambulance to Esther Lungu Foundation Trust. This was during the launch of her trust in Lusaka on Saturday night. PICTURE: THOMAS NSAMA

VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu on Saturday launched the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust (ELFT) that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the poor.
Mrs Lungu said during the launch that the foundation trust will leverage its position to address issues relating to economic empowerment, maternal, child health and neo-natal health as well as water and sanitation.
She said because the office of the First Lady attracts the goodwill of many donors and well-wishers, her governance will be transparent.
“The establishment of the ELFT will ensure transparency, accountability and governance,” Mrs Lungu said.
The First Lady said the ELFT has been established mainly as a result of her passion for uplifting the well-being of humanity.
Mrs Lungu said it is her expectation that the existence of the foundation will continue even after her tenure as First Lady of Zambia.
“Taking into account the foundation trust’s core business of economic empowerment, environment and maternal and child health, the foundation will build capacity of its target group through advocacy, public and financial mobilisation and partnership at both national and international levels,” she said.
Mrs Lungu said the ELFT will target the poor and vulnerable, especially women, girls and children, and will have a deliberate policy to empower persons with disabilities and older people.
The goal of the foundation is to have healthy, economically and socially empowered communities in Zambia.
Its mission is to improve the socio-economic well-being of the underprivileged through gender-sensitive participatory and environmentally-sustainable approaches.
“My number one passion is economic empowerment of women. Investment in women is investment that pays off for communities and countries,” Mrs Lungu said.
And Huawei country director Emillion Ming said Zambia will not forget Mrs Lungu’s effort in helping the vulnerable.
Mr Ming pledged to work closely with the ELFT for the empowerment of the vulnerable in society.
He said the Huawei family is humbled by the selfless dedication by Mrs Lungu to empower the underprivileged in an effort of reducing their vulnerability.
ELFT board member Bernadette Deka paid tribute to all partners and supporters to the foundation.
A number of donations to the foundation trust were made, which included 210 sewing machines, 13 hammermills and 13 peanut butter-making machines from the World China Women in Zambia.
Other donations are US$30,000 from the Chinese embassy, five sewing machines and a borehole from the LILA, K30,000 from the diplomatic club and K20,000 from Mwenya Kasonde.
The foundation trust also received an ambulance stocked with medicine that will enhance Mrs Lungu’s outreach programme.

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