Gender Gender

Teach children value of hard work

Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
FROM an early age, it is important to teach children the value of hard work without necessarily exploiting them and infringing on their rights.
Children should be encouraged to participate in work that does not affect their health, personal development or interferes with their education or growth.
Some forms of work usually involve household chores, helping out in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours or during school holidays.
This helps to contribute to children’s development and to the welfare of families because it provides children with skills, attitudes and experience that positively contribute to nurturing children into useful and productive members as adults.
But with difficult economic times and many parents are unable to adequately support their families, the line between child labour and positive work ethic is slowly getting blurry. To make ends meet, many more children are now engaged in different forms of labour that ultimately infringe on their rights.
In some cases, children are exposed to slavery like conditions, hard labour or prostitution in agricultural, manufacturing, mining sectors and home-related activities where they are exploited by providing cheap human resource by those who employ them.
Child labour can be defined as engaging a person under the age of 15 to undertake work that deprives them of their childhood, their potential and their dignity; these activities can harm the physical and mental development of children.
When a child is forced to leave school or combine school and work or when a child ends up falling ill from the work they are involved in, this is considered child labour.
In severe cases, victims of child labour end up being confined, separated from their families, exposed to unhealthy or dangerous conditions or left to fend for themselves without parental or adult supervision. The practice deprives the young victims of their childhood and is harmful for their physical and mental development.
Child labour has also contributed to increased levels of poverty because children who are subjected to exploitation, with little or no basic education, are likely to grow into illiterate adults with no prospect of breaking out of the cycle of poverty they find themselves in.
This is not to say that children should be protected from any work but it is imperative to draw a line between acceptable forms of work and child labour depending on age, the work to be undertaken and under what conditions children are expected to perform.
In addition, research has shown that when children and young people are involved in earning their own money, they develop a positive attitude towards work and life. It helps them to cultivate a sense of self-belief of what they can accomplish. Such initiatives offer an opportunity to build skills, meet new challenges, perseverance and observe the results of their efforts that instil the value of hard work.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.

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