By Maxim Murungweni, 25 November to 1 December 2018, pg 15
Children and young people are the fastest growing segment of the population in both poor and middle income developing countries, and their welfare is fundamental to achieving key economic and social objectives. In Africa children, children under age 15 account for 41% of the population in 2015 and young persons aged 15 to 24 account for a further 19%. To guarantee a better future for these children in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe, there is need for an investment through providing adequate appropriate SRHR information. With regards to that, children should be provided with platforms to discuss openly SRHR issues affecting them and provide solutions or actions to address those identified issues. The theme of the Sustainable Development Goals of ” Leaving no one Behind” seeks to make sure that children and young people are not left behind in accessing SRHR information. To achieve SDGs number three and five, we have to make sure we empower our children with the appropriate SRHR information. According to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 14, every child shall have the best attainable state of mental, physical, and spiritual health and state parties shall undertake to pursue the implementation of this right. Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children and Regional Network of the Children and Young People Trust with support and funding from Voluntary Services Overseas ensures that children and young people access this information through the Volunteering for Development program, partnered with the Harare, Epworth ang Hopley Junior Council and Child Led groups to train junior Councillors and Parliamentarians and equip girls and young women to become knowledgeable on their SRHR rights and strengthen their capacities to make informed decisions on their SRHR. The training was held at Harare House on the 21 December 2017 which was attended by junior Councillors 76 girls and 39 boys. The participants received maximum opportunity for learning through a participatory learning process. Girls are not given the space to express themselves and to receive enough information on SRH. Also, lack of access to sanitary wear forces girls to miss school , there are areas where child marriages are rife while some have a high rate of teenage pregnancies. Hence, the training highlighted the need for more efforts to empower children especially the girl child in leadership positions with SRHR information.