Zimbabwe, January 2014: Child President End of Year Statement
By Thandeyonkisi Will Moyo
As this year draws to a close, my cabinet and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the children of Zimbabwe and many of the stakeholders that we worked with in 2013 for your many contributions to the successes of the current Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe.
In many ways, 2013 was not an easy one. We have shared in the sorrow of the many children that continue to die during birth and other preventable diseases, the increased number of children that are suffering the psychological consequences of sexual and physical abuse, the increased number of children that are dropping out of school because they cannot afford school fees among many other events that have had a negative impact on the children of Zimbabwe.
We also face an ongoing liquidity challenge to which children suffer the major consequences. However, we do so with a renewed sense of confidence and a belief in the ability of the commitment that the Government of Zimbabwe will continue to engage with us as leaders of tomorrow and the other partners working with us to make Zimbabwe a better country for its children.
I also firmly believe that 2013 was a year of immense achievements for the Junior Parliament – a year in which we once again affirmed the value and credibility of our work to the various constituencies that we represent.
The training of 320 Junior Parliamentarians between August and September in the budgeting process through the Child Friendly National Budgeting Initiative and the cascading of this training to the more than 50,000 children in the various 10 Provinces of the country; the launch of the Youth National Policy; the participation in the launch of the campaign against sexual and physical abuse initiated by the Ministry of Women, Gender and Community Development; the continued advocacy campaign since the celebrations of the Day of the African Child guided by the theme “Eliminating Harmful Social And Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility;” the continued engagement with the nation and the media through the Youth-Zone on ZiFM on issues varying from children and disability, sexual abuse, child rights among others; and the continued engagement with senior Members of Parliament and Ministers which culminated in the collation and submission of Children Priority Issues for the 2014 National Budget to the Minister of Finance on 27 November 2013 are some of the activities that should make us all proud. The issues submitted to the Ministry of Finance and other relevant Ministries are outlined adjacent to this statement.
But these are only a few of the examples chosen from the many achievements that together as the children of Zimbabwe form our joint commitment to the mandate of the Junior Parliament.
I recognize the many partnerships and human links in the chain of our achievements; all of them equally praiseworthy. The links in this collective effort include the financial support that we received from Barclays Bank, the communication support from Econet Zimbabwe and the program support from UNICEF, the Zimbabwe Youth Council, the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) and Save the Children to name a few.
If 2013 was a year of celebrating the children of Zimbabwe, it was also one of looking to the future and launching new initiatives, new partnerships, and new spaces that will continue to strengthen the position of children of Zimbabwe for generations to come.
Through the above trials and triumphs I have highlighted and the many more achievements that distinguished 2013, as the Junior Parliament I believe we have perpetuated the participation of children to posterity, expanded the circle of inclusion, and imagined a world improved by our individual and collective efforts. Looking now toward the culmination of the last six months of the Junior Parliament in office, we will begin 2014 again, guided by our history and inspired by one another.
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