Child welfare NGO set up for Chingwizi

Poor living conditions at Chingwizi Camp in Masvingo have motivated locals to form a schools health association to improve the learning environment for children in the flood affected areas.

Ruzi Hasha - promised to expose perpetrators of child abuse at Chingwizi Camp.
Ruzi Hasha – promised to expose perpetrators of child abuse at Chingwizi Camp.

The Zimbabwe National School Health Association (Zinasha), chaired by Ruzi Hasha, was formed this month to complement government and other stakeholders’ efforts to improve conditions for the children.

Most members of the association are from rural Masvingo. Hasha told The Zimbabwean that services provided by the NGO would benefit all children, especially those in marginalised rural areas.

He said the situation at Chingwizi “reflects that of most remote areas where schools do not have toilet paper or chemicals, disease awareness or sanitary ware for the girls.”

Zinasha also promised to expose perpetrators of child abuse at the camp, where he said it was alleged a number of young girls had fallen pregnant as they struggled to survive.

Some 2,500 children were initially enrolled at Chingwizi primary and secondary schools but the numbers continue to drop due to economic hardships, lack of food and poor living conditions.

Though its projects would later spread nationwide, the pilot project will be in Masvingo given the Tokwe-Mukosi disaster factor. Children at the camp learn in tents with temperatures “too high for a learning environment”.

“Government is not doing enough at Chingwizi and other rural areas, hence our intention to make noise and do something about it,” said Hasha, noting that provision of clean water and the fight against drug abuse among distressed children were also on the agenda.

Zinasha seeks to engage the ministries of Education and Health to raise awareness of the dangers posed by teachers smoking in class and in the vicinity of children. The association will also launch awareness campaigns regarding diseases such as influenza, Ebola and cholera.

Thirty four years after the country attained its independence, Hasha said it was distressing to observe that children continued to share drinking water with frogs and other creatures from shallow wells.

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