By Brian Wasili
Save the Children International has indicated that it is impressed to note that a number of successes have been registered in Mwanza District over the last three years that the organization has been conducting Children’s Parliament in the District.
The remarks were made by Deputy Country Director for Save the Children, Stanley Phiri during the official opening of this year’s Children’s Parliament for Mwanza District at Mwanza Secondary School on Thursday.
“Children have gained confidence and authority to hold duty bearers accountable to ensure that adults think and behave in a way that respects children and childhood,” he said.
According to Phiri, most children in the district have improved in the way they speak and articulate issues concerning them.
He added that there has been an increase in the number of children parliamentarians from the district being selected to various secondary schools in the country.
“Most importantly the resolutions that have been passed in this house have been used in various ways at district as well as at national level,” he said.
The Deputy Country Director gave an example that at organizational level such as Save the Children the resolutions have been used as a planning tool for programming for children.
Phiri asked Mwanza District Council officials and stakeholders to recommit and redouble their efforts in addressing those resolutions passed by the House but are yet to be acted upon.
Director for Child Development and Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, McNight Kalanda urged children especially girls in the country to take leading role in safeguarding their rights.
“Recent study has shown that above 80% of decisions over child marriages in the country are made by the children themselves,” he said.
Kalanda encouraged the girls in the country to work hard in their education saying that it was the only way that violation of their rights by perpetrators due to poverty could be prevented.
Theme for this year’s session is: ‘Children’s Parliament: The Platform for Amplifying Children’s Voices.’
The opening ceremony was patronized by officials from the children’s parliament implementing local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Mwanza called Association of Progressive Women (APW), Save the Children International, Mwanza District Council, faith based organizations, traditional leaders and representatives from National Assembly Committee on Social and Community Affairs among others.-MANA