Newsnote: Partners conduct Child Friendly National Budgeting Initiative with Junior Parliamentarians in Bulawayo
August 2013 - More than 100 Junior Parliamentarians from the five southern Provinces of Zimbabwe (Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Midlands) recently attended a training workshop on Child Friendly National Budgeting Initiative (CFNBI) in Bulawayo. The objective of the workshop was to capacitate Junior Parliamentarians to train other children in their respective constituencies on effective participation in the budgeting processes in their homes, communities and at national level.
The training, financed by Barclays Bank with technical and operational support from UNICEF , was conducted by the Zimbabwe Youth Council, Save the Children, National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Institute of Environmental Studies (University of Zimbabwe) and the Development Reality Institute. The training was held from the 6th – 10th of August 2013 and included sessions on Child Rights, Child Budgeting, financial literacy and Advocacy among others.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Unicef Chief of Social Policy & Research, Samson Muradzikwa said the training workshop was an acknowledgement of the importance of children in decision making and reaffirmed the strong partnership that exists between the Government of Zimbabwe and development partners in improving the lives of children in Zimbabwe.
“Children are sometimes left out in crucial decision making processes on matters that affect them, for various reasons. Child rights approaches to programming however dictate that children should be consulted and be afforded the opportunity to participate in such matters that affect them. The CFNBI workshops are thus meant to capacitate children with skills to actively participate in budgeting processes at various levels of government as a way of ensuring that their needs are adequately met through the budget, thus promoting children’s rights,” Muradzikwa said.
Barclays Bank Acting Head of Corporate Affairs and Customer Services, Emily Nemapare said their hope was to re-shape the way young people think about financial issues and noted that the workshop was an opportunity to equip the junior parliamentarians with financial literacy and the skills to advocate for their right to be heard by adults.
“We believe in programmes that support knowledge transfer in areas of finance, enterprise and life skills and hope that this partnership will create a powerful generation of youths who will be able to advocate for their right to be heard,” said Nemapare.
She further noted that the process of participation will enable children to have a say over the way resources are allocated through participating in priority settings by adults and various decision makers, even when resources are minimal.
Mr. Livingstone Dzikira, the Chief Executive Officer for the Zimbabwe Youth Council commended the various partners involved in the initiative for prioritizing the needs of children, particularly in amplifying their voices on issues that are affecting their daily lives.
As a result of the four day training workshop, the Junior Parliamentarians came up with strategic plans of how they are going to be training other children in their constituencies and how this will be used for advocacy purposes.
The programme’s main thrust is to educate children on the importance of the national budgeting process, train them on how to read national budgets and chiefly to enhance their participation in the formulation of child friendly budgets to meet the call by Government from all stakeholders each November, for budget proposals prior to the presentation of the national budget.