GLORIA KANGWA writes
ALL girls in North-Western Province should put books before boys (BBB) to avoid getting pregnant and reduce early childhood marriages, says First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) health programmes and project advisor Gertrude Musunka.
Ms Musunka said this in Solwezi district at the Mushitala secondary school ground during the launch of the BBB campaign of a girl’s empowerment program that uses Education to empower the girl child stay in school in Solwezi and Kalumbila district.
She said the mine whose aim was to use education as a tool to empower girls in communities surrounding Kansanshi Mines Plc and Kalumbila Minerals Ltd would make education the bedrock for pupils so that Zambia had a meaningful development.
She said the mine would like to leave a positive legacy after its life by making education the key and enable the social determination of good health for the population especially in girls and women was implemented.
“The value of education for the girl child at individual level needs to increase and be visible. We all know that girls can have very successful careers and look after their families and the whole community,” she said.
“FQM believes the change in mind-sets, beliefs and perception in this case the relation to education is what will bring about the paradigm shift within our communities,” she said.
Ms Musunka said the campaign would ensure boy and girls clubs in school acquire books which would encourage them stay in schools and avoid sex at their early stages.
And District Commissioner Rosemary Kamalonga who was guest of honour at the event said it was pleasing that the mine considered education as a means to render development which would not only contribute to the province but the nation at large.
Ms Kamalonga said teenage pregnancies and early childhood marriages were very rampant in rural areas but that the initiative by FQM would reduce the levels of both.
She said not all children had the privilege to get such timely and concerted information and help from a number of concerned stakeholders.
She urged the pupils present to utilize the attention and care being given to them adding that they use it to propel themselves further in education.