DAPP Zambia joined other organisations around the world to commemorate the International Day of the Families under the theme “Families and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development.
Speaking at the national commemorations held in Kabwe, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Emerine Kabanshi called on Zambians to build strong families so as to build a strong nation.
“Many of Zambia’s social and economic problems such as the increase in the number of children on the streets, girls being married off at a young age and young girl’s involvement in transactional sex is as a result of broken families. There is need to build strong family ties because families are the center of a society that provide a stable and supporting home for every citizen”, she said.
The Minister also challenged Zambian families to care for people living with disabilities as they have the need for strong family bonds.
“Let us take care of people living with disabilities within our families. Let us not forsake and leave them to beg in the streets. It is for this reason that the Government through my Ministry has designed policies and programmes to address and support families facing serious challenges. One of such programmes is the social cash transfer which is benefiting many families especially the elderly”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief of Party for the Zambia Family South Central (ZAMFAM) Project, Mike Lilema stated that through the support of the American People and USAID, the project has brought families together in Community Action Groups where knowledge of self-help is shared and families finding own solutions to their own challenges.
“From these groups, small businesses and agricultural and livestock projects have emerged, leading to families managing to take their children to school, decent family houses being built, and nutritious foods being served for meals which has resulted in families with sustained livelihoods”.
And speaking after visiting the DAPP exhibition stand, the Minister commended DAPP Zambia for strengthening Community Action Groups in which parents are mobilised and trained to care for orphans and vulnerable children.
The project supports over 125, 000 affected, infected or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and offers support to manage, mitigate, and prevent the burden of HIV and AIDS.
With services ranging from child protection, economic strengthening, education support, health and nutrition education, and household parenting classes, the project works towards the goal of improving the care and resilience of vulnerable children.
This year’s commemoration brought together government officials, civil society organisations, school pupils, and the media to celebrate and highlight the challenges in order to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
Aside from the national event held in Kabwe, DAPP Zambia also commemorated this day by holding different events across the many projects implemented in Zambia.
DAPP also donated hampers from its clothes and shoes project to 1, 680 families in 18 districts.