CHILDLINE, a non profit making child rights organisation will on Friday host its first Child Helpline commemorations in the ancient city of Masvingo.
The event will be celebrated under the theme, “Using Technology for Children and young people’s well-being, All day everyday.” Speaking to journalists at their offices in Harare, Childline Finance Manager, Clemence Wega said the main objectives of the commemorations is to raise awareness on the existence of the national Child Helpline in Zimbabwe and the upliftment of children’s rights.
Child helplines have been set to provide a reporting platform for children in various countries around the world.
“Childline Zimbabwe in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Child Welfare will host the inaugural commemorations on Friday, May 18 at the Civic Centre in Masvingo. 250 children from 30 schools have been invited through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to join in the commemorations that will be held under the theme, “Using inclusive Technology for Children and Young people’s well-being . All Day everyday,” said Wega.
The event will also be graced by the director in the Labour and Social Welfare Mr Tuso Mapala who will be guest of honor and will also be supported by the provincial leadership in the ministry of labor and social welfare.
Meanwhile, Childline Zimbabwe says it received 14 000 cases of child abuse over the years and 30 percent of the cases were sexually related. Childline Mashonaland Helpline Officer, Maureen Kambarami said most cases reported through their Helpline are child sexual abuse cases and indications are that 90 percent of these offenses are committed by either a parent, guardian, teacher or anyone they know.
“Sexual abuse throughout the years, comes as the most reported form of abuse dating back from inception even. This could be an issue to. It also points out to issues of vulnerability because these cases are emanating from girls its most happening in girls between the ages 13 and 14.
In average, throughout the years, we have 14 000 reports that enter our centers through our helplines. Of those 14 000, 30 percent of them and child sexual abuse. As to the context, sexual abuse remains the highest in all the provinces. As to the main perpetrator, 90 percent is coming from someone the child knows, it might be a relative, a teacher or a guardian,” said Kambarami.
However, most cases of Child Sexual abuse are reported in urban areas owing the availability and accessibility of mobile phone and technology as compared to rural areas. Childline Zimbabwe has so far installed some mobile phone centers in communal areas to ensure rural children also get access to help at their earliest convenience.
The Childline Zimbabwe Helpline is 116 and can be accessed through any local phone line, WhatsApp platform, 116 Mobile Application, Facebook and Twitter.