A woman diligently dresses her niece, meticulously inspecting her appearance to ensure perfection. Today is the day that the girl starts to earn her keep. Finally she will stop being the liability that she has been since her mother died and left her orphaned. Her aunt coaxes her into sitting in the strange man’s vehicle, “to take you to town and buy you nice things,” she says as the doe-eyed 16 year old trustingly nods. Little does she know, that this moment shall be marked forever in her memory as the farewell to her innocence and child hood.
A year and multiple men later, the girl is pregnant, scared, helpless and without a home. “Why did you not report what was happening before?” she is asked to which she responds that her aunt had threatened to throw her out of her house and she had nowhere else to go being orphaned with late grandparents. The aunt on the other hand wants nothing to do with the child and claims the child is spiritually possessed hence all she says and does cannot be trusted.She denies any reponsibilitySuch is the fate of many a child in Zimbabwe nowadays.
In a cut-throat economic situation whereby the dollar has become a scarce commodity, people are often found breaking their moral ethics and devising plans to bring in revenue to the household. Sadly these plans have in some cases involved peddling children for various profitable uses such as child labour, child prostitution etc.In some instances, a mother will leave her child in the care of relatives in pursuit of economic greener pastures abroad and this child may seize to enjoy their idyllic childhood but become the domestic worker in the household where they have been placed, at times to the point of being denied their rights such as that to education. There are also reported incidents of biological parents using their children as tools of foraging for economic gain, compromising child rights.
Simukai Child Protection Programme is pleading with the public to please join us in our fight against Child abuse and exploitation. Let us all desist from harmful practises that compromise the wellbeing and the rights of our children. Children are a gift to be loved, cherished and nurtured not an article of trade or a product to be used. It is our collective responsibility to report incidents of a child being exploited or abused in order to protect the future of tomorrow. For further comments, discussion or feedback please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our facebook page: Simukai Child Protection Programme or website: Simukaicpp.org
Advocacy and Communications Officer
SIMUKAI CHILD PROTECTION PROGRAMME