By Ransom Mandhlazi - ZANU PF Information Department
FIRST Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa through her foundation, Angel of Hope has initiated a local humanitarian initiative on food and nutrition for school going children, a programme targeting children in some of the disadvantaged schools in all the countries' provinces.
The country’s Health Ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, has a passion for the empowerment of the nation and to ensure every one leads a healthy life, highlighted that the initiative is a matter of urgency given the prevailing drought.
“The reason why we are gathered here today is for us to exchange information and share ideas on planning a special intervention programme targeting children in some of our disadvantaged schools in all the provinces of Zimbabwe,” said First Lady Amai Mnangagwa.
The First Lady outlined that during her various visits to different parts of our country, she learnt of the challenges faced by mothers in raising children.
“I have interacted with mothers and discussed many development topics with them particularly the nutritional content of the food that they prepare for their families.
“One of the issues that struck me is the fact that many children, particularly in the rural areas go to school without having eaten anything, walk long distances to reach school and yet are expected to concentrate on their studies, participate in physical education and sport,” she added.
The First Lady said, the initiative will complement Government programmes which are already in motion across the country.
“While I acknowledge Government efforts through all food and nutrition programmes, including the home grown school feeding programme, it is my strong belief that there is much room for all other players to contribute as it is everyone`s duty to contribute towards protecting the most vulnerable among u.
“After all, it takes a whole village to raise a child and the role of mothers, like myself is very obvious. When statistics of malnutrition, stunting and their effects on the health and future of our children are discussed, it really touches my heart,” she said.
She urged the nation to embrace traditional foods at household level.
“In terms of food security and nutrition at household level and the hospitality industry, my passion is on promoting indigenous, traditional foods of high nutritional value.
As mother of the nation, I rely on your support to make a difference to the children as they prepare for their adult lives through education. My expectations include nutritious feeding in order to prevent stunting so that they excel in every aspect of their lives,” she added.
The meeting saw officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement, Ministry of Women Affairs, Captains of Industry, Retailers, Businesspeople, churches, private entities, manufacturers, NGOs, indigenous companies coming together to brainstorm on how best they can support the initiate by the First Lady.
The initiative is expected to be rolled out as a matter of urgency in different provinces, as a technical team which will spearhead the process is already in place.