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Samia urges child protection

Samia urges child protection

RESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged parents and the society to avoid child abandonment, saying the practice creates a nation with impaired citizens.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Monday at the commemoration for the Equal Opportunities for All Trust Fund (EOTF) Silver Jubilee, President Samia asked parents to take responsibility for their children’s welfare.

“Let us all encourage parents not to abandon their children, because if they do and the children don’t get support from anyone, we will end up having a weak na- tion that has children who do not understand who they are and children who lack morals,” Ms Samia said.

The president advised parents who contemplate child abandonment for a variety of reasons to at the very least think about bringing their kids to orphanages.

President Samia said community devel- opment is one of the key priorities for the sixth phase government.

“Real development in Tanzania is the. economic development of the people, development and access to social services such as health, education, clean and safe water and electricity,” she insisted. Ms Samia said the government is closely monitoring the availability of all these social services for its citizens.

“The work to fight poverty, ignorance and disease must be participatory and I commend EOTF for its efforts in supporting the government in the areas of economy, education and care for orphans,” she said.

Ms Samia recalled that the EOTF has over the past 25 years been instrumental in achieving much of the existing social and related development policies.

“The successes you have achieved in implementing education, economic and health programmes have helped lift women out of poverty,” she remarked.

President Samia recounted how EOTF Chairperson, former First Lady, Anna Mkapa, encouraged her to ascend from a position at the World Food Programme (WFP) to a successful politician.

“I became a member of the EOTF board of trustees in 1997, and I served on the board until 2000, when I entered politics... Mama Anna was the one who gave me the confidence that I could make a good politician,” she revealed.

President Samia narrated that Mama Mkapa spotted her potential and advised her to venture into politics when the then First Lady gave her a lift for one of the EOTF events back in 1999 and that kick- started her political career.

Earlier, EOTF Chairperson Mama Mkapa stated that the organisation's goals are to end poverty among women and improve their lives and that of young entrepreneurs so they can become economically independent.

According to Mama Mkapa, EOTF has given entrepreneurship training and business skills to over 6,000 women entrepreneurs over the previous 25 years, and they have been able to create more than 25,000 jobs by establishing small-scale enterprises.

She further said that the institution has educated 1,755 children from kindergarten to universities both inside and outside of the country.

EOTF has also built women and children's wards, a mortuary, renovated health centres, and donated hospital facilities, she added.

“The fund has constructed a Kibaha children's village centre, with nearby schools and health centres that are also utilised by the surrounding community,” she said.

For her part, Ms Mwanaidi Ali Khamis, Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women, and Special Needs, assured President Samia that the ministry will tour each region to educate women on economic empowerment, advancing into leadership positions, and combating gender-based violence. She pledged that the ministry will keep collaborating with EOTF to help underprivileged groups and women attain financial independence.

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Author: DAILYNEWS Reporter

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