LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
REFORMED Open Community Schools (ROCs), in partnership with Child Fund, has distributed over 30,000 pairs of shoes to vulnerable children in Monze and Katete districts as well as Lusaka Province.
ROCs executive director Marlon Phiri said the distribution of shoes will benefit 88 schools in the three areas.
“A total of 30,360 pairs of shoes have already been distributed to 47 schools in Monze, 30 schools in Katete and 11 schools in Lusaka Province,” he said.
He said the project is aimed at encouraging vulnerable learners to remain in schools.
Mr Phiri said ROCs and Child Fund hope the gesture would also encourage children to improve their school attendance and performance.
Meanwhile, Mr Phiri said early child marriage is a gross violation of human rights and a barrier to girls’ health and social well-being.
“It is a pervasive problem in many communities affecting thousands of vulnerable girls,” he said.
He said early marriage hinders girls’ contribution to the development of their communities.
Mr Phiri said early marriage undermines initiatives to raise girls’ education, reduction of maternal mortality and exposes girls to sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
He also said ROCs is conducting community awareness activities targeting both parents and learners on the dangers of early marriage.
Mr Phiri said more needs to be done to avert the situation of early marriages in Zambia.