DEPUTY Director in the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Governments (PO-RALG), Ms Amina Mfaki, has called upon parents and family members to take necessary steps to safeguard the welfare of children and ensure they get proper upbringing from the grassroots level and should enroll them in school.
Equally, children suffering from childhood diseases should be taken early to health facilities for treatment because most of the diseases are curable.
She made the remarks during a stakeholders’ review meeting on projects being implemented by the Karagwe Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (KCBRP) held at Kayanga township, recently.
She congratulated KCBRP for implementing a programme aimed at assisting children with disabilities through empowerment and by providing them with assistive devices and rehabilitation services, also appealing to other NGOs to emulate the example.
Ms Mfaki explained that the government was committed to ensuring that acts of violence against children are brought to an end, thus calling for joint efforts from all stakeholders to end the vice.
“Some of the children were neglected, forcing them to live in streets begging, while others were not attending school and some of them were raped. Investigations revealed that major perpetrators include relatives and neighbours”, she said.
Adding: “Several studies show that 60 per cent of acts of violence against children occur at home. The studies further reveal that those who commit acts of violence are family members. The biggest challenge of dealing with violence against children is the silence and the habit of resolving and ending cases clandestinely at family level,” she hinted.
KCBRP Executive Director (ED), Mr Yohana Ng’wandu, on the other hand, informed the director that about 8,385 children with disabilities (CWDs) in seven regions were being covered under the programme, including accessing inclusive education to all children and ending acts of violence against children.
He listed the regions as Simiyu, Kigoma, Mwanza, Kagera, Geita, Mara and Kilimanjaro.
Also, about 33,540 community members in Kyerwa and Karagwe districts would get awareness trainings to make them knowledgable on issues related to People Living with Disabilities (PLWD), he said.
“The programme also focused on identification of children with disabilities (CWDs) to be enrolled in schools, to increase household income of families of children with disabilities through engaging families in livelihood opportunities and train CWDs parents/guardians on financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills,” he said.
The 36-month programme was being implemented by KCBRP in collaboration with a German International Cooperation Agency (BMZ).
Tanzania has made commendable steps in enacting policies and laws that protects children rights including Child Right Act, 2009 and National Plan of Action to End Violence Against Women and Children (NPA-VAMWC 2017/18 – 2021/22), which aims at protecting and maintaining the welfare of a child and addressing violence against women and children in the country.