First Lady WARNS against abuse of children’s funds at orphanages
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has warned administrators of children’s homes against abusing funds meant for vulnerable and disabled children.
Addressing underprivileged children at Mkoba Teachers’ College in Gweru yesterday, the First Lady said there was rampant abuse of funds allocated to children’s homes and other care giving institutions.
“Children’s homes and other institutions that have resembled family set-ups are run by churches and sometimes do not have adequate resources. Children’s homes are expected to run with high standards and excellent facilities. It is a concern that some children’s homes are operating without being registered, while some abuse funds that are meant to benefit the children,” she said.
The First Lady said she had learnt a lot from her visits to hospitals, prisons and children’s homes since the festive season.
“In my visits around the country, I am learning a lot. I have visited hospitals, prisons and newly-born babies and it has been a journey of discoveries. This festive season I decided to spend time with you (underprivileged children) to share with you what I can,” she said.
She applauded Government for exempting children and the elderly from paying medical bills at State institutions.
She said this would go a long way in increasing accessibility of health services by children and the elderly.
The First Lady said Government should intensify women capacity building and empowerment programmes to reduce cases of baby dumping, abortions and general abuse of children by parents and guardians.
“The issue of abandoned children and also underprivileged children is something I’m deeply concerned about. Our children, for various reasons, end up without homes. For instance, HIV and other natural causes have shattered family set-ups. I am deeply disheartened by parents who choose to abuse their own children and those that abandon them.
“There is need to capacitate women so that they desist from either baby abandonment or abortion,” she said. The First Lady donated an assortment of food items to children’s homes in the Midlands Province as well as preparatory material for waiting mothers.