Primary school children from Kasisi primary school received school supplies, including uniforms, shoes and note books.
Students in Tanzania’s Tabora region have benefited from money raised at the recent Global Tobacco Networking Forum in Antwerp, Belgium.
During the GTNF gala dinner, in June, the organizers auctioned off various items and donated the proceeds—almost $3,000—to the Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT).
The ECLT has added the funds to its scholarship support program for students at a school in Kasisi Village in Urambo, Tabora region. The GTNF donation enables 72 children to buy uniforms, shoes and other materials required to attend school.
ECLT is running a project through two districts of Tabora. Thousands of children are enrolled in school or in vocational training thanks to the support of the project, collaboration from the district and the mobilization of volunteers from the villages who watch over the children and educate parents so that children are sent to school.
According to ECLT, children in tobacco-growing families are often forced to work on the farm because they are too poor to purchase school uniforms or materials.
In a four-year project, ECLT, along with its partners, are developing capacity of the district and local communities to provide for their children themselves and to ensure they stay in school even after the project ends.
During a recent conference in Lilongwe, Malawi’s government and other stakeholders endorsed a plan to eliminate child labor in agriculture. Malawi’s child labor incidence is among the highest in southern Africa.
Held Sept. 4-6, the Malawi National Conference on Child Labor in Agriculture was the first of its kind in Malawi. The event was convened by the Ministry of Labor and sponsored by the Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT Foundation) in partnership with the International Labor Organization.
Themed “Our Children, Our Future,” the event drew more than 350 government representatives, agricultural stakeholders, members of labor organizations, business, civil society and NGOs—and children.
In her opening address, Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, called for synergy among all stakeholders to end child labor. “I will not let children continue working in these estates instead of concentrating on their studies. And to you who are employing these kids, it is my humble plea that you stop such acts to give room to these children to be future leaders,” she said.
Under the banner “Anything for us, without us, is against us,” 40 children from Malawi’s agricultural industries presented recommendations for ending child labor.
The conference resulted in sector-by-sector agreement to actions to be implemented by 2016 and the Malawi government’s charge to conduct a National Child Labor Survey to map child labor and the effectiveness of programs in place to stop it.
More information about the initiative is available at http://www.malawichildlabourconference.com.