Invest in children, says First Lady

Invest in children, says First Lady
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa

Walter Nyamukondiwa in KAROI
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa says the country’s future development should be anchored on progressive investment in children’s capacity to sustain themselves through entrepreneurship. The development trajectory, she said, should consider the plight of vulnerable children as everyone has potential to help develop the country despite their circumstances.

Driven by the Shona adage “Chengaose manhanga, hapana risina mhodzi”, First Lady Mnangagwa said her approach recognises that everyone has seeds that can germinate into something useful.

“The next generation requires us to invest in them, increasing the capacity for self-sustenance through entrepreneurship. Awareness of the plight of vulnerable children will go a long way in influencing abstinence and family planning choices. I cannot overemphasise that children are our future. The progression of our society is directly proportional to our investment in our children,” she said.

She said the country’s prosperity hinged on the application of the principle, correlating progress and investment in children. Cde Mnangagwa said this at Hurungwe Children’s Home where she addressed children from seven homes in Mashonaland West province, the elderly and Government officials among others. She called for unity to realise the new Zimbabwe which demands more than agreeing on a transformation agenda, but participation.

“In this new dispensation, let us unite for the realisation of the new Zimbabwe we want to see. This means not only agreeing in the transformation we want to see, but also participating in the change process. It is our responsibility as Zimbabweans to transform our own Zimbabwe. Government effort needs to be complemented by civil society, private sector, developmental partners and even individual effort,” she said.

She said coordinated effort was critical and everyone has a role to play. The First Lady donated food stuffs and other basics including rice, cooking oil and beans to the homes. She took time to feed some children in a typical everyday woman gesture that endeared her to the children and the elderly alike.

The First Lady gave television sets and satellite decoders to the seven homes including Good Shepherd, Eden and Hurungwe. This is part of her drive to share with children, women, the elderly and prison inmates the spirit of Christmas. She has vowed to cover all the provinces.

Her gesture was apolitical, she said. Society, the First Lady said, needs to put heads together to come up with ways of stemming the deterioration of the family unit which acted as a buffer against homelessness and destitution. As a result more children are being neglected, ending up in homes which are now struggling to cope.

She said management at some of the homes were not without blemish as cases of misappropriation of funds, improper registration were widespread. Mashonaland West Minister of State Webster Shamu hailed the First Lady for her humility.

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