Russian youth affairs leader hails First Lady’s empowerment programmes

08 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Russian youth affairs leader hails First Lady’s empowerment programmes Angel of Hope patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa talks to Russian Federal Agency for Youth leadership in Moscow, Russia on Sunday

The Herald

Tendai Rupapa in MOSCOW, Russia

The head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Youth has given First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa special mention for the sterling work she is doing with her Angel of Hope Foundation to economically empower youths across Zimbabwe and to curb drug and substance abuse.

Ms Ksenia Denisonva Razuvaeva made the remarks during a top-level meeting with Dr Mnangagwa who was accompanied by Ms Memory Mbendera, the administration officer in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation under the Youth Development and Empowerment Department.

Among the wide-ranging issues they discussed were areas of possible cooperation on youths and what the First Lady is doing in empowering youths.

Ms Razuvaeva said her country was open for cooperation and to enhance future cooperation with Zimbabwe and help with infrastructure for youth multi-purpose centres and education facilities and invited Zimbabwean youths to participate in Russia’s business development acceleration programmes.

“We are open for international cooperation and for enhancing our future contacts.

“We wish to emphasise how we could help with infrastructure for youth centres and with education facilities.

“We invite the youth representatives of Zimbabwe to take part in our business development acceleration programmes and we invite them to file their requests and applications to take part in these projects.

“Besides being happy to welcome all the young people of Zimbabwe here in Russia, we are very much experienced in sending humanitarians missions to different parts of the world so we are ready to form a mission of different specialists to Zimbabwe to help you with current matters.

“We appreciate the efforts the First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa makes in the development of youths in Zimbabwe, including the fact that she does a lot in the alleviation of drug and substance abuse by the young generation.

“We hope she will become an inspiring example for many countries of the world,” she said.

Dr Mnangagwa said she was proud to be part of the group that brought together like-minded people with a common goal to empower and uplift the youth.

Angel of Hope patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa and her delegation comprised of officials from Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in a meeting with Russian Federal Agency for Youth leadership on Sunday. – Pictures: John Manzongo

“Young people have been central to the Government’s development agenda hence the country has also laid the necessary institutional policy and legal frameworks to create the enabling environment and opportunities to enhance youth economic empowerment.

“Like any mother, every woman has children at heart and it is my pleasure to be part of this discussion aimed at giving us direction and guidelines towards the holistic development and empowerment of our young men and women.

“I look forward for these deliberations that they will result in fruitful discussions in coming up with ideas that will empower our future leaders. My country Zimbabwe has in place strategic documents that guide the implementation of youth programmes.

“The current Constitution of Zimbabwe commits the Government and all its institutions to take reasonable measures and affirmative action programmes to ensure that our youth have access to appropriate education and training.

“So this is very important for us to be engaged and to have this group to map out the way forward for our youths,” she said.

Ms Razuvaeva weighed in saying it was important for nations to do their very best to help society and to volunteer in youth empowerment projects.

“The campaign is called ‘We are together’ and it’s named after the project which was there before in our country, which was created in response to all the challenges youths faced. ‘We are together’ was formed at the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in response to its challenges and now the volunteers which are now over 100 000 people in this campaign take part in different events.

“Our forum has awards which we give to our volunteers. We would like to thank you Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa for your attention to our forum and I am sure that your personal example will be very inspiring for all of our volunteers and I hope that your visit will be very fruitful as well as your stay in Russia.

“We need to contact with the youth organisations of Zimbabwe and youths who are under your Angel of Hope Foundation. We hope we will be able to create these contacts as quickly as possible. Zimbabwe has many young people and we are very much interested in your priorities as the republic of Zimbabwe in development of its youths.

“So we would like you to share your experiences so that we could exchange some interesting views on the development of the youth,” she said.

Dr Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had a policy which provides a guiding frame work for the empowerment of youth in a comprehensive, coordinated multi-sectoral manner which is consistent with the current youth needs and the country’s new national development agenda.

Angel of Hope patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa and her delegation which had officials from Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in a meeting with Russian Federal Agency for Youth on Sunday

“The main priority areas of the youth policy of Zimbabwe are outlined as education and skills development. The policy affirms that education and skills are lifelong processes that are relevant to the holistic and integrated development of youth and the important first step towards enabling them to be productive members of a prosperous Zimbabwe and protectors of their destiny.

“As patron of Angel of Hope Foundation, I have facilitated the construction of educational centres for the vulnerable youth from primary level to tertiary level,” she said.

The First Lady gave highlights of the work her Angel of Hope Foundation was doing to ease the plight of youths and make them better citizens.

“Angel of Hope Foundation has established a multi-purpose centre to cater for the young boys and girls. Chambuta rehabilitation centre which is in the southern part of the country is a place where I housed children who were living and working on the streets of major cities.

“They are doing academic studies and being equipped with vocational training skills to sustain themselves.

“They also have exposure to world class sporting facilities, preparing them for a bright future.

“The children live in family set ups, with foster parents to give them guidance just like any child in a home. I recognise the role of the youth in the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030.

“It’s about business development, innovation and industrialisation. Youths have also been beneficiaries of many initiatives being implemented by my foundation, Angel of Hope Foundation, including Agric4she programme which empowers women and youths with access to land and some implements for sustainable livelihoods,” she said.

The First Lady said her foundation sought to improve the physical and mental well-being of youths through the provision and access to equitable safe and sustainable health services.

“The Angel of Hope Foundation has been working with the youth in raising awareness against drug and substance abuse.

“The foundation created various activities around the country such as the First Lady’s Drug Survivors Sports Tournament. Now there are areas of cooperation that we feel the two countries can engage in the establishment of accessible infrastructure and retooling existing infrastructure.

“These infrastructures would compliment the specifications required for the effective delivery of various curricular. We also want to look at reviewing and transformation of vocational skills development, relooking, modernising, equipping vocational training centres with digital equipment to suit the new trends. We also want to establish more multi-purpose youth centres.

“We have an empower bank only for youths and we need to recapitalise it which also a bank that was established in 2018 for the youths only to promote access to finance and financial inclusion for the youths. The idea behind is for them to access funding to promote the youth entrepreneurship initiatives and also for them to participate,” she said.

Dr Mnangagwa gave the floor to Ms Mbendera who said all the initiatives targeting the youth were there to increase the participation in leadership and decision-making processes in the mainstream economy of the country.

“So as a Government we want to strengthen and establish more partnerships with the private and public sectors of other countries to ensure we achieve our goals in terms of youth development and empowerment.

“Goals are to facilitate employment creation which we feel is a major issue that we have to address and empower the youth in various communities so that they can be self-reliant. The First Lady is doing a lot to curb drug and substance abuse and as a ministry we are grateful. In terms of empowering the youth in agriculture, youth are the main beneficiary and a lot is being done in that area through the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation.

“A lot of work is being done by our First Lady in terms of preserving the cultural identity and our indigenous knowledge systems as a nation which is very necessary for youths to transition into adulthood.

“Life-skills training and capacity building is very critical and as we all be aware, drug and substance abuse can actually derail activities of a nation and considering that in Zimbabwe the youth constitute a greater percentage of the population, which is roughly about 67 percent of the nation below 35 years of age, so we recognise their role in terms of national development.

“Also focusing on entrepreneurship development, we are also concerned with adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues which are very critical. What we really want is to make sure we have youth-friendly services and improved services for the youth. “Our nation is mainly agriculture based and we have a number of youth that are in the agriculture sector. There is more work that is being done in agro-processing as we try to add value to what we produce,” said Ms Mbendera.

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