“Befriend your children”

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KABWE-based radio presenter Janet Khosa has urged parents to befriend their children.

The 21-year-old radio hosts “Tikambe Project on KNC Radio, a sexual reproductive health show looking to change the social normal that exists between parents and children.  

She was speaking to journalists to mark International Volunteer’s day celebration.

Khosa, also fourth year Bachelor of Science with Education student at Kwame NKrumah University said young people must be given the right information on sexual reproductive health.

She said parents should not be judgmental toward the young people but open up and rightfully guide the children on matters that affects them.

Khosa revealed that young people were silently being abused inside their homes because parents isolate themselves from their children.

Khosa is a Restless Development Zambia volunteer as community journalist.

“Parents should be parents, but again they should also step out and be friends with their children. I will give an example of child abuse. Sometimes when a young person be a male or female is being abused inside their homes and the parent cannot know. And sometimes it is even difficult tell,” she said.

“Not only parents but I can also include guardian and the community at large, because when you look at young persons, they are not only found at home 24/7. They also spend their time at school. This is where the guidance teachers and the other teachers also come in. So they should be able to offer that information to the young person and let the young person decide.”

Khosa said Zambia was recording high rate of teenage pregnancies because they were not given rightful information by parents and guardians as a result they want to try out anything without understanding what they were getting into.

“This is why we have early pregnancies that are happening among the young people, but if the parent is open to the child to say, you have sexual rights, when a person is harassing you. This is how you can tell if you are being harassed. A young person is going to know because a parent has told that person,” she said.

Khosa further appealed to the church leaders to break the silence and open the free talks about sexual reproduction health.

She said youths be empowered with right information for them to make an informed decision.

“It is better if key influencers like parents, teachers, and church leaders are able to talk about how a young person should make an informed decision by giving them a right information and not being judgmental. Many young people tend to not to open up to other guardians or parents because they feel judged,” said Khosa.

   And Restless Development Zambia manager in charge of investment and partnerships Tendai Chiweshe said there was need for the government to create a platform of receiving and continue of work that are being done by different Civil Society Organisations.

He said volunteers’ were rightful partners that easy the burden in the running of community projects.

Chiweshe said working with volunteers was cost effective as staffs are draw from the communities were the programmes were being implemented.

“Government have made strides in creating standards for volunteers on how to work and engage volunteers but what we have noticed is that even though these standards are there, there is needs for continue engagement of volunteers,” said Chiweshe.

 “Most of these volunteers comes from the communities where the work is happening, so there is a belief in the work that is happening. There is also an opportunity for easy sustainability of the work that is happening because it is going to be carried by local volunteers.”

Psych-Health Zambia director child capacity Nkandu Chikonde said volunteer takes a lot of love and passion for service to the people.

Chikonde one of the longest serving volunteer with the Restless Development Zambia said government should more invest in the human capacity development.

He said the future for the young people was now lead and close-up the human resource gaps.

“Restless Development gave a platform to build the skills that I use now. When I was in high school before I joined Restless Development, I was interested in issues around leadership, issues around public speaking which my company is about now. Restless Development gave me an opportunity to acquire that different skills that I thought I had, but I did not have the opportunity to express them. Being a volunteer it springs you to where you want to go. It offers you an opportunity to test your abilities,” said Chikonde.

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