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‘Independence time to show love, care’

VICE-President Inonge Wina (centre back row) interacts with homeless children from around Lusaka during the independence party held in their honour at Nakatindi Hall yesterday. PICTURE: STAFRANCE ZULU

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says Zambia’s Independence Anniversary is an opportune time for people to extend a hand of love and care to each other, especially to vulnerable children on the streets.
Mrs Wina said as a Christian nation, there is need to enhance efforts to develop a spirit of love, support and inclusiveness for all children in order to create a conducive environment in which they will be able to grow and develop to their full potential.
“This will enable all our children to become productive, responsible and patriotic citizens capable of contributing immensely to sustainable national development,” she said.
The Vice-President was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when she graced the Independence party for children living on the streets.
Mrs Wina said Government is doing everything possible to ensure that children living on the streets are assisted to lead a decent life just like other children considering the current number of children.
“This commitment was reiterated by President Lungu in his speech to the National Assembly, which directed line ministries to expand services and the in-take levels of children on the streets at Zambia National Service camps for skills and entrepreneurship training to give children hope and opportunities for a better life,” she said.
She said there is need to come up with interventions to comprehensively deal with the problem of children living on the streets in a more sustainable manner.
Mrs Wina has since directed the ministries of gender, youth, sport and child development, defence and community development and social welfare to enforce child protection laws by prosecuting parents sending their children to beg on the streets.
She also directed the ministries to, among other things, scale up livelihoods through capacity building of vulnerable families where the vulnerable children come from as well as promote the fostering and adoption of children.
Mrs Wina has urged the children to take advantage of available government programmes.
Earlier, Minister of Gender Professor Nkandu Luo said there are currently 13, 200 children living on the streets.
Prof Luo said the line ministries are, however, working in a coordinated manner to address the plight of children living on the streets.
In a vote of thanks, one of the children, Muya Mubiana, thanked Mrs Wina and the government officials for thinking of them and taking time to spend time with them.

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