Setting the tone and keeping the rhythm were the common ingredients that kept this winning team together. Needless also to mention, the innate ability to endure the door-to-door household survey, which has become the corner stone of the Harare Urban child labour free zones project in Zimbabwe.
Having adopted the philosophy “No child should work – all children must be in school”, the volunteers trickled down into the community ready for the people to see and hear for themselves that child labour is a menace – defeating children’s rights to fulltime, formal and quality education.
Armed with the techniques of collecting data from a community with diverse socio-economic, political, religious and cultural background, the volunteers penetrated in the community to raise awareness on the dangers of child labour and the importance of children’s rights to education. Wrong community perceptions, myths and opinions were cleared up. The community became aware of the effects of child labour and the importance of education as a way to keep children out of child labour. In a short period of time, the community noticed that the volunteers were in fact the linchpin in emancipating children from child labour and reintegrating them back in the school system.
Working hand in glove with local leadership, the volunteers never tire up in sharing their itinerary with the Councillor and members of the ward development committee who guided them in the entire process. What everyone learnt from the volunteers is their unwavering dedication to duty and ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with people from all walks of life.
In Harare the organisations CACLAZ en ANPPCAN are working on the creation of Child Labour Free Zones. The project is part of the Stop Child Labour programme ‘Out of Work and Into School’, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. For this programme, Stop Child Labour collaborates with local organisations in India, Mali, Nicaragua, Turkey, Uganda and Zimbabwe.