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HODI Trains Village Reporters to Curbs Child Labour in Zambia

Develoment Through Radio concept offers many zambians in rural communties a great opportunity for them to act as development players in their on communities.

The emergence of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Radio in particular has changed the World’s rural communities, offering a new paradigm in communication and in exchanging development ideas. However, while the new media is still developing today, a gap has also appeared with those without regular, effective access and ability to use current technologies.

On another hand, ICTs are also a great opportunity for the developing world. Providing minimal services (agriculture, health, education, business, governance, etc.) to rural communities and under-privileged populations is of major importance to improve people lives, and to sustain development. Using ICTs is the easiest and possibly only way to develop and deploy  services. It is therefore critical to work towards engaging rural communities in the information highway.

In this context, Develoment Through Radio concept offers many zambians in rural communties a great opportunity for them to act as development players in their on communities. According to the UN of africa’s over 800 million polultion over 300 million people have access to radio compared to TV with only 62 million.These numbers illustrate the potential of the radio to be the right solution to deploy services now, compared to other options.

The aim of the workshop in Choma was to explore and come up with workable slutions on how the 8 communities can use radio, other ICTs like Mobile Phones to report, educate people in Kalomo and Choma on the dangers of engaging Child Labour in Tobacco growing.

HODI in collaboration with One World Africa held a Training workshop for the Village Reporters. The workshop was held for a period of five days; from 14th to 18th of April 2008.The venue was at Munzhi Lodge in Choma. The Workshop comprised 12 participants. Two participants from each HODI’s Operational area were invited to the workshop. The areas are Simunzele and Mbabala from Choma district. Others were drawn from Kalonda and Tara areas in Kalomo district.  Sky FM from Choma represented the media as being focal persons in programme production. Stakeholders invited were; the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. 

 

In December 2004, Hodi undertook a survey on Child Labour in Southern Province. During the survey, Mbabala and Tara areas in Choma and Kalomo districts were identified as the two prime tobacco growing areas with high incidences of child labourers. About 21,000 children were found to be working as child labourers in both family and commercial tobacco farms.

 

This short survey later led to the birth of the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Program in October 2005. Offices for the ECLT Project are in Choma at Butala House Room 113. The project is funded by the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Trust (ECLT) Foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.     

 

The ECLT Foundation is an innovative and unique initiative which is supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and aims at combating child labour in tobacco growing. Its members are drawn from representatives of the trade unions, the tobacco growers and corporate sector, including:

·         The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations (IUF);

·         The International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA);

ECLT Foundation Steering Committees also have representation from producers, companies, unions, governments and the ILO. The projects comprehensively address the causes and impacts of child labour. The approach offers an excellent example of how donors, NGOs and government can mainstream child labour policies in their work.

 

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