World Vi­sion to fight il­lit­er­acy

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

WORLD Vi­sion Le­sotho (WVL) has urged gov­ern­ment and other stake­hold­ers to pay greater at­ten­tion to nip­ping il­lit­er­acy in the bud es­pe­cially among vul­ner­a­ble groups to en­sure they do not lag be­hind.

This was re­solved at a WVL stake­holder strat­egy re­view meet­ing held on Mon­day at Le­hakoe Recre­ational Cen­tre to as­sess the progress made in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s 2013-2015 strat­egy and to ex­plore pos­si­ble ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of their new fiveyear strat­egy.

WVL is an in­ter­na­tional Chris­tian, re­lief, devel­op­ment and ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to work­ing with vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren, and com­mu­ni­ties to help them reach their full po­ten­tial by tack­ling the root causes of poverty and injustice.

Ac­cord­ing to WVL Qual­ity As­sur­ance Manager, Destaw Ber­hanu, the meet­ing as­sessed the chal­lenges en­coun­tered in the past three years in the are­nas of ed­u­ca­tion, health, food se­cu­rity and ad­vo­cacy on child pro­tec­tion and there­after made rec­om­men­da­tions.

On the ed­u­ca­tion front, Mr Ber­hanu be­moaned the low func­tional lit­er­acy of chil­dren even at the age of 11 years. he said among the seven WVL Area Devel­op­ment Pro­grammes (ADPS) as­sessed for func­tional lit­er­acy, chil­dren in four ADPS were be­low 50 per­cent of the func­tional lit­er­acy level.

“There are many high school dropouts due to ini­ti­a­tion schools and early mar­riages as well as a low em­pha­sis on and limited avail­abil­ity of lo­cally-rel­e­vant read­ing and learn­ing ma­te­ri­als in schools, com­mu­nity read­ing and learn­ing cen­tres as well as in for­mal schools,” Mr Ber­hanu said.

he urged gov­ern­ment and other stake­hold­ers to ad­dress the chal­lenge through the pro­vi­sion of train­ing for teach­ers on in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion.

“There is also need to scale up the Cit­i­zen’s Voice and Ac­tion model be­yond the three ADPS and en­gage gov­ern­ment to ac­cel­er­ate pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion,” said Mr Ber­hanu.

On health, Mr Ber­hanu said due to poor nu­tri­tion, 33 per­cent of chil­dren in the coun­try had ex­pe­ri­enced stunted growth with in­ci­dences high­est in the dis­tricts of Mokhot­long ( 48 per­cent) and Thaba Tseka (40 per­cent).

he also noted that there were 363 526 vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in the coun­try, of which 221 000 were or­phaned. Mr Ber­hanu stressed the need for stake­hold­ers to fo­cus on in­fant and young child feed­ing to ad­dress the prob­lem of un­der­nu­tri­tion, while also call­ing for the strength­en­ing of ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity struc­tures and estab­lish­ment of as­so­ci­a­tions to sup­port or­phans, vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and peo­ple living with HIV and AIDS.

“There is need to fo­cus on in­fant and young child feed­ing by strength­en­ing nu­tri­tion ed­u­ca­tion ad­vo­cacy for peo­ple living with HIV and AIDS so they can re­ceive the ap­pro­pri­ate An­tiretro­vi­ral treat­ment,” he said.

On the is­sue of liveli­hood, he said the coun­try was sad­dled with such

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