By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Chingola District Social Welfare office has paid school fees for 1, 064 pupils in 2019 alone to secure the welfare of the children through Service Efficiency for Vulnerable Children and Adolescents (SEVCA).
SEVICA project was implemented last year and in Chingola it is been implemented in eight wards Bupalo Luano, Kapisha, Kalilo, Mutenda, Muchishi, Ipafu and Kasope in ward level management.
Chingola District Social Welfare Officer Penina Chomba encouraged vulnerable pupils especially those that have gotten support from the SEVCA project to work hard toward their education as it is a rare privilege.
Ms Chomba said pupils should engage families, guidance teachers and community volunteers who can address their challenges and needs.
She said the pilot project is targeting children from 0 to 19 years from social cash transfer beneficiary households.
Ms Chomba said apart from the social cash transfer, her office is looking at what other vulnerabilities children are facing from the same household.
“We are also strengthening the referral system at ward level. This is where community development assistant are helping to identify cases of vulnerabilities at household level. Then we engage local stakeholders to help us address that need and also helping children from social cash transfer homes not with education challenges alone but also other vulnerabilities like those in need of protection, counselling nutrition values,” she said.
She said apart from paying the fees it was discovered that there is a component of nutrition lacking in those households.
Ms Chomba said social welfare did service mapping to look at what needs are needed in different wards to ensure that the livelihood of children are attended to holistically.
She said the support from the communities and other stakeholders was overwhelming and she was lobbing for continuity in helping the vulnerable as it was appreciated.
The funding is coming from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government is spear heading to help the vulnerable children.