By Yankho Phiri
Dowa, December 20, Mana: Tobacco Commission (TC) has donated playing materials and other assorted items to Seed of Hope community based organization which offers free early childhood education at Magatha Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chakhaza in Dowa.
Speaking to the Media after the donation, Public Relations officer (PRO) for TC, Telephorus Chigwenembe said that they thought of making the donations in order to give children in the area a play centre which would keep them busy in this tobacco growing season.
“As a Commission which regulates tobacco in the country, we realized that a lot of children in areas with a lot of tobacco casual labourers are taken to tobacco fields because they do not have playing centres whereby at the field they are forced to work with their parents which is child labor in disguise,” he said.
Chigwenembe added that the Commission would go on with the initiative to completely end child labour in the country as the act affects the tobacco sales.
“Over the few years our tobacco sales has been affected because the buyers noticed that child labor was happening in most of our tobacco estates which is against the international law. Therefore as a commission we will keep fighting against the act in order to meet the needs of our buyers for us to raise the country’s economy,” he added.
Founder and Director of Seed of Hope, Memory Kapichira Banda expressed her gratitude towards the help that her organization received.
“I’m very happy and honoured to receive such a help for the first time since I founded this place, the donation has really come at a good time where most children go to the fields with their parents unlike coming to school, so these playing equipment will not only keep them busy but it will also capture their interest to be coming to school daily,” she said.
The Commission spent K600, 000 for the donation to Seed of Hope which teaches and helps over 270 children in its six learning centres with most of them are close to tobacco farms.