Barclays Bank donates to the Child Friendly National Budgeting Initiative in Zimbabwe
By Richard Nyamanhindi
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe has donated an additional US$45 000 to the Child-Friendly National Budgeting Initiative (CFNBI) run by UNICEF in partnership with the Zimbabwe Youth Council to allow the participation of children in the budgeting processes so that they can influence the way resources are allocated by parents, local authorities, private sector and the Government.
This is the second time this year that the bank has supported the initiative after the initial donation of $110,000 early in the year.
Barclays Bank Managing Director, Mr George Guvamatanga said this gesture was an empowerment drive by his organisation to help transform the lives of young people in Zimbabwe.
“For Barclays, the partnership is centred on making a difference in the lives of what we believe are the most important elements of our country and the world at large, our children – the future,” he said. “Around the world, communities are facing unprecedented social and financial challenges. This is especially acute for disadvantaged young people.”
He said the skills will help young people to overcome challenges they face to better provide for themselves and for their families and ultimately support longer term growth in the economy. “I believe that this program is particularly relevant to our youths, it will contribute positively to the Zimbabwe we are striving to build and will set good precedence for generations,” Guvamatanga noted.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Youth Council Livingstone Dzikira, the Deputy Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Mathias Tongofa said the funding from Barclays is commendable in that it is in line with Government policy as it is empowering the future leaders of the country.
“With youth unemployment being such a serious problem, this new element is not only timely but also necessary in empowering young people with the skills to compete in the market place,” said the Deputy Minister.
UNICEF Representative, Reza Hossaini thanked Barclays Bank for the donation and noted that it is a very significant gesture as it shows the potential of the corporate sector to contribute to the furtherance of child rights in Zimbabwe.
“We value this initiative because it recognises children as agents of change who are capable of forming their opinions about development priorities and communicating the same. Child participation is central to UNICEF’s mandate and is guided by Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which provides for children to express their views freely,” said Reza Hossaini.
The CFNBI promotes the contribution of children to the national and local government budgeting processes. Since the initial funding at the beginning of the year, training workshops were held in Bulawayo and Harare involving Junior Members of Parliament from all 10 provinces of the country. These ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops have seen the 320 Junior Parliamentarians cascading the training to more 50,000 children across the country.