FRANCIS CHIPALO writes
“A Christian nation like Zambia should not have orphans and children on the streets because they have uncles and aunties who should take care of them,” Religious Affairs and National Guidance Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili has said.
The minister was responding to the concerns raised by Chikonde Foundation President Bishop John Mambo about the growing number of street children in the country which he blamed on lack of compassion in people, especially for the vulnerable.
But Rev. Sumaili stated that one of her ministry’s main focus is to strengthen family values so that every child is well taken care of even in the absence of biological parents.
“We want to preach about family values because people have lost that sense of responsibility as extended families. There should never be such a thing as orphans in extended families,” she said.
She challenged the citizens to begin to live according to the principles of God and to help orphans and street children.
“The Christian nation realization will not just happen overnight. We have to begin to live it and that is why people should begin to appreciate the creation of my ministry,” she said.
Rev. Sumaili stated: “Love is the greatest commandment given to us by God and once we begin to truly embrace it, we will stop looking at any child as an orphans because there will be relatives to take care of them.”
Recently, Bishop Mambo observed that the reason why the number of street children in Zambia has continued to grow is because most people lacked the spirit of compassion for one another, especially for the vulnerable children.
He said that no child in Zambia deserved to live as an orphan because “we all have relatives who should help take care of us when our parents die.”
“You and I are supposed to take care of children who lose their biological parents but we don’t because we have thrown out the spirit of Ubuntu,” Bishop Mambo said.
Bishop Mambo said further said: “These kids that we see on the streets are just like our own children. Some of them are even our relatives but we can’t look after them because our hearts are polluted with the desire to amass wealth.”
The clergyman, who is founding president of Nyampande Community Schools in Rufunsa district, has appealed to Zambians to collaborate and ensure that the country becomes street-kids free.
“If anything, we are supposed to take good care of such children than our biological kids because your kids have a mother and father to look up to,” Bishop Mambo observed.
“We can surely do better as nation and for that matter a Christian nation,” he added.