MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has partnered with traditional leaders’ spouses in sensitising girls about the importance of education, and the negative effects of early marriages.
Mrs Lungu, who is patron of the Esther Lungu Foundation, has also partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to train 20 chiefs’ spouses in various parts of the country.
She said Chieftainess Mwape of Eastern Province has also been instrumental in sensitising girls on the use of washable sanitary pads and the dangers of engaging in early, child and forced marriages.
Mrs Lungu was speaking yesterday when she presented activities her organisation has undertaken from January to date under the theme ‘First Ladies Developmental Initiatives’.
This was at the three-day Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE) conference on girls’ education.
“We feel women mentors are better placed to sensitise girls on marriage and the use of washable sanitary pads. At national level, we have constructed girls’ dormitories and provided beds and mattresses in Serenje, Central Province,” Mrs Lungu said.
She said the foundation has also provided clean drinking water to communities in Nyimba, Eastern Province.
Mrs Lungu is also a member of the Organisation of African First Ladies which tackles HIV/AIDS among adolescents, maternal and child health issues.
She said was also part of the high-level delegation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March this year.
Mrs Lungu has engaged former first ladies who are the initiators of various programmes on girls’ education.