War on child labour

The Coalition Against Child Labour in Zimbabwe says it has vowed to fight for the release of 500 children from work, mainly in tea and timber plantations, so that they can attend school.

The project will target plantations in the Eastern Highlands, where child labour is still rampant, from January next year. The national coordinator of the NGO, Jonas Mazambani, said: “We are promoting child labour free zones and will be supporting children with school fees, uniforms and books.”

The concept is a replication of the Indian model that is now two years old and has successfully returned one million children to school. “In the next two years we hope to remove 1,000 children from child labour zones and send them to various schools in the Eastern Highlands,” added Mazambani, who hopes to expand the project to the Lowveld and Nyanga.

In 2011, CACLZ launched a pilot project in Chisumbanje that saw 350 children moving from farms to schools. “In our first interventions we promoted what we call bridge schools or incubation centres where children are housed temporarily while they receive psycho social support and screening tests to determine their academic capabilities before they are released from work and placed into school,” said Mazambani.

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