Community Development Education

Econet, Plan International driving education through ending child marriages

Plan International encouraging child protection

By Shamaine Nyamutswa

Education is the greatest weapon that can be used to fight poverty as well as promoting the rebuilding of lives after a crisis because it is never too late to do the right thing. Econet and Plan International are riding on this fact to educate the girl child as they advocate for ending child marriages.

Everyone has his or her rights to be informed,  to be heard, to choose so as to be educated. The girl child should be accorded equal rights with the boy child, especially the right to education.

The Supporting Adolescence Girls Education (SAGE) program is encouraging all young girls between the age of 10 to 19 years to join them and get free education as their main goal is to transform the lives of over 100 million girls around the world by 2022.

SAGE is a program that is being held in about 11 districts of Zimbabwe aiming to stop child abuse,  early girl child marriages and providing education to those who are failing due to different circumstances as well as school dropouts in order to change the world at large.

“We are providing free education to those who have not given up on life, the ones who are still hoping for a better tomorrow even if they are school dropouts,  therefore,  we are here to give young girls another chance to be educated,” said the SAGE Program Manager Obert Chigadara emphasizing the importance of education to a girl child.

“The Sage program was implemented by Plan International movement and in Zimbabwe, Econet is one of the bigger companies that is sponsoring us in this movement of stopping early child marriages around the world at large,” he added.

Where there is a will, there is a way to a better life. Young girls are giving their best in the hope of a better tomorrow since an opportunity has knocked on their doors.

“l am a single mother already at the age of 17 because the father of my child refused to take any responsibility on my son but now am happy and so grateful to SAGE for coming up with such an inspiring program because it has managed to give us hope and another chance to be educated like others,” said Tanyaradzwa Chimanyiwa who is one of the young girls benefitting from SAGE program.

No matter how difficult life can be,  giving up is never a solution. In that regard, SAGE has introduced the use of e-learning following the outbreak of the Covid 19 virus which took the life of many over a short period of time.

“E-learning was never easy but it helped a lot though some were failing to attend all lessons in time due to poor network connection as well as the exorbitant cost of data. We have however resumed education in different communities as before the outbreak of COVID-19, ” said Sphiwe Ncube.

The Supporting Adolescence Girls Education program is bringing a change to the lives of different girls in the world by promoting an end to child abuse and early child marriages.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende