Rainbow news zambia

Poverty Reduction Begins with Children

Poverty Reduction Begins with Children

February 28
19:26 2017
William Chilufya with children

William Chilufya with children

BISHOP Evans Chinyama Chinyemba of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Western Province

BISHOP Evans Chinyama Chinyemba of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Western Province

By Tendai Posiana

CHILDREN are often the hardest hit vulnerable age-group by poverty, as it causes lifelong damage to their spiritual minds and physical bodies.
Like women, children especially the girl-child carry the brunt of poverty coined in the slogan ‘feminisation of vulnerability.’
Poverty becomes to greater extent an inheritance as impoverished people are more often than not likely to pass on to their biological children, thus perpetuating the poverty cycle. It is against this backdrop that poverty reduction work must begin with children, by teaching or imparting life-living skills. In addition, I concur with a school of thought imploring education as a life-changing investment. It is imperative for increased access to quality education regardless of a child’s geographical location or social status.
The well-being of children is key to measuring national development. Global prosperity is an unprecedented level. Yet the promise to give every child a good start in life remains unfulfilled. More than half a billion children representing a staggering 40 per cent of all children in developing countries are currently struggling to survive on less than $1 (Ten Zambian Kwacha) a day, equivalent to a cost of a newspaper or a loaf of bread. Poverty is the main cause of millions of preventable child death each year. It also causes tens of million children to go hungry, miss school or be exploited in hazardous child labour.
Aside from investment in empowering education, it is encouraging that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, through the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) Executive Director Mrs. Ruth Mulenga-Kwofie and her partners is implementing “The First 1000 Days Programme, whose overall goal is to reduce the noted high levels of stunting in Zambia, using a collaborative approach. PTO
Lifting the world’s poor out of poverty, however, will require the translation of good intentions and promises into concrete action. This action must do more than merely boost incomes if sustainable development is to arise. When people have access to economic, social and cultural rights, such citizens earnestly participate, as well as children themselves, as a result of policy advocacy, and thus individually and as a group contribute to poverty reduction and the fulfillment of basic human rights.
When poverty strikes a family, the youngest members become its most innocent and vulnerable victims and entrenching irreparable damage to their bodies and minds. Sadly, children are powerless victims at the mercy of socio-economic decisions made by adults. Child development is a succession of events for which there is a seldom or rare second chance, as spelt out in the first 1000 days of children. Biological and intellectual growth cannot wait until a family escapes from poverty, as empowerment is not static. Giving children access to an integrated package of basic social services of good quality empowerment is one of the most effective and efficient steps in combating poverty. While boosting income is important, it would be economically inefficient and socially unacceptable to make the poor wait for the benefits of economic growth to trickle down.
Poverty is a denial of human rights and dignity arising from entrenched discrimination. It means not having a good primary school or quality health center to go to and not having access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and habitable housing. Poverty means not having a voice to influence decision making, living at the margins or peripheral of society and being stigmatized as a consequence of ones social status. Obviously, poverty reduction involves more than crossing an income threshold. Poverty remains among the most important human rights challenge facing the world community.Based on the equal worth and dignity of every individual, human rights are central to the well-being of anyone.
A human rights-based approach means that the situation of poor people is viewed not only in terms of welfare outcomes but placing the obligation to prevent and respond to human rights violations to all citizens. Sustainable improvements in the situation of women and children requires a supportive policy environment, as well as operational interventions to help develop their basic human capabilities.
Therefore one thing is clear: poverty reduction must begin with children. Hence, early childhood is the most opportune moment for preventing or breaking the poverty cycle. Investment in children is a key determinant of the success of anti-poverty programs.
Poverty cannot be eradicated unless the basic capabilities of children are developed and safeguarded at birth.
Empowerment, participation and social mobilization are the hallmark efforts to reduce poverty. They represent ends in themselves to realize the human rights of all people, starting with most vulnerable members of society:
Children and women including vulnerable boys and men as crosscutting interventions will entrench zero-tolerance to poverty. www.rainbownewszambia.com

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