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ACJ FIGHTS CHILD MARRIAGE AND PROSTITUTION THROUGH COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

Advocacy for Child Justice (ACJ) under the LifeSavers Zambia programme took time to train Local Based LifeSavers Committees (LBLSCs) in Chibombo District, Lukata village and Lusaka District in John Howard Compound on entrepreneurship and management skills of income generating activities , 45 committee members were trained.The 2 committees will train parents of girls withdrawn from child marriages and prostitution to eradicate poverty and sustain children’s basic needs within their communities.

IGA TrainingThe training focused on helping the community members with empowerment opportunities in contributing to national development and enhancing the socio-economic status of poor families. ACJ Project Officer under a Project called Mutule which is focused on fighting against child marriage and prostitution Mr. Mundia Hangubo said that the community empowerment capacity development is a continuous process which will help promote community accountability and sustainability following the high levels of child marriage and prostitution. He noted that girls are the most affected compared to boys with various factors including poverty, where marrying off the girl child serves as a means for them to escape poverty and provide for their needs, and the girl’s family also benefiting through the payment of lobola, whose value has been increasing over time in the project catchment areas. Mr. Hangubo went further to state that ACJ has committed itself in fighting child marriage by making sure that capacity development in income generative activities is promoted to build positive impact in the lives of children and families. He said, ”ACJ identified that most communities have little or no financial and general capacities to fight child rights violations such as child marriage and prostitution and lack alternative activities to build a conducive environment that will build general support for those children that come from very poor backgrounds and cannot afford basic needs. ACJ will continue empowering communities in the fight against child marriages for them to be more aware on the dangers of child marriage and prostitution through community sustainability programmes that aim to produce responsible entrepreneurs” .He concluded that helping communities with positive efforts of social activities will build and promote positive ability in realizing permanent change in the lives of children in their right to enjoy family life.

IGA TrainingCommunity empowerment will help reduce the 60% poverty levels that Zambian is grappling with in hindering people from quality lifestyles, especially those in rural and marginalized communities, to take action with multifaceted programs that educate families and community members on the dangers of child marriage as well as provide girls with education and life skills among other activities. Supporting and scaling up community programs and grassroots efforts in building community sustainability will help influence general support of social investment and human development thereby pushing the 2030 agenda to promote the realization of the rights of all children, get their best start in life, to survive and to thrive, and to live free from violence and abuse.

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