Children present priority issues for the 2014 National Budget
Several Child Cabinet Ministers met their senior counterparts to make submissions and recommendations from the Child Cabinet following a session held yesterday.
The meetings were also used to share the respective ministries programmes especially targeted at children and young people.
Most Ministries expressed commitment to work with the Junior Ministers to address the concerns raised by children. The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Honourable Nicholas Goche said that his Ministry was in the process of creating a division that would house all welfare programmes for children to ensure that they are given more attention.
“We want programmes such as the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) and other social support programmes to be housed under a single division to ensure a holistic approach to child protection issues. To that effect we have already advertised for a director,” said Minister Goche.
He reassured the children that the reach of BEAM will be increased as he is in the process of seeking support from development partners and other donors.
“We already have a commitment from the Swiss Government to support this child welfare division to the tune of US$10 million,” said Minister Goche.
The Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere noted that children and young people had a role to play in protecting the environment. He applauded the children’s cabinet for coming up with practical recommendations which included, the need to drill boreholes in communities especially those in dry areas as well as develop sustainable ways to harvest water, strengthen information dissemination and popularization of the national climate change and environment policies in schools and to involve children in environment management and to take an active role in the parks protection.
The Ministry committed to support Junior MPs to disseminate environment awareness information, plant trees in their communities and well set up water harvesting projects led by young people.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said it will work on a programme to attract school drop-outs which will be fully funded by the government through the Education Development Fund.
The Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Lazarus Dokora also said his Ministry is in the process of reviewing all its programmes including the curricular to ensure that skills training is catered for. He was responding to the submission by the Child Minister of Primary and Secondary Education recommending the need to develop curricula for training of entrepreneurial, vocational and technical skills.
Ministers of Indiginezation and Youth Development, Health and Child Care, Foreign Affairs and Mines are some of the Ministers that met with their junior counterparts. All Ministries committed to establishing children and youth friendly desks to ensure that young people are mainstreamed in all their programmes.