Sunday, July 3, 2011

Church, Tobacco company pair in novel anti-child labour campaign

The Livingstonia Synod’s Church and Society Program on Saturday paired with the most unlikely of partners, Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company to deliver 1,500 school kits to children of Kabwafu tobacco farmers in a bid to curb child labour which is rife in the area.

The school kits which consisted of a school bag, a mathematical instruments set and a drink bottle were given out at Kabwafu Primary School ground in Mzimba, a development that Senior Chief Mpherembe hailed as “commendable.”

“Buyers were concerned of the ‘dirty’ tobacco that was being produced with child labour so as a company we thought it wise to campaign against that to make the tobacco clean,”  said Themba Machila, Social Responsibility Programs Coordinator for Limbe Leaf.

Machila revealed that the company has pumped about 20 million Kwacha into the Central and Northern Regions’ tobacco areas to try and root out child labour. He also spoke of plans to give out ploughs, boreholes and other inputs to its contracted farmers to better their lives.

The Church and Society Program recently conducted research that saw 36% of the respondents acknowledging existence of child labour in Mzimba and especially the Kabwafu area.

“The school Kits will go a long way to encourage children to go and stay in school, they will also serve as bait for those not interested in going to school,” said Moses Mkandawire, Director of Church and Society, “ lets end child labour and send our kids to school to brighten theirs and our future.”

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