Taking law to schools
This event was witnessed by 53 students from the school.
JCT director Petronella Nyamapfene said the trust was focusing on private colleges because there was growing concern over the welfare of children in these institutions.
“Inroads into private colleges like the recently formed club at National Education College was necessitated by the fact that there has been an increase in the number of private colleges whose students were isolated from the JCT school club initiatives,” she said.
She also said the school clubs had proved their relevance in that the trained school club members are empowered on their rights and responsibilities and they participate in issues that affect children on a wider scale.
“For instance, the club members have been pro-active in reporting cases of child abuse, they have been instrumental in shaping up structures of justice, for instance JCT in partnership with Unicef and ACPD, conducted nationwide consultations during the constitution-making process.”
She said: “The club members have also been instrumental in organising and participating during international days such as the Day of the African Child among other programmes.”
The launching of the JCT Child Law Forum Club is not new though at the particular school it was a new club that was being launched. Justice for Children entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in 2004 against the background that there was need to enhance child participation and knowledge on procedures to take when in need of legal services.
The organisation has since 2004 facilitated the formation of child law forum clubs in Harare, Bindura, Chegutu, Mutasa (Mutare) and Chinhoyi with guidance from teachers who are the club patrons
The school clubs have also contributed towards encouraging children to be responsible citizens and the clubs have seen former club members, who are now students at higher learning institutions, playing a part to promote and protect the rights of children. The trust seeks to achieve the existence of school clubs as they significantly enhance child protection.
“Anything for children without children is not for children so we want to ensure that their voices are heard,” she said.