Centre for Sexual Health and HIV AIDS Research Zimbabwe (CeSHHAR) is giving a new ray hope to young young girls and ladies who dropped out of school or entered into early marriages due to financial constrains a second chance to complete their educational studies by paying their fees.
CeSHHAR is a non-governmental organisation that provides young ladies and girls a second chance in education and a better chance to have a career and financial independence.
CeSHHAR education secretary Jules said: “We are visiting marginalised communities to give these ladies another chance to go back to school. Instead of falling into early marriages or being prostitutes, we give them another chance so that they may realise their capabilities.’’
“After we have heard a number of reports about prostitution and early child marriages and we also noticed most affected age group is 16 to 24 years. This prompted us to come up with a strategy to harness them and make them see that there is life beyond early marriages and prostitution,’’ she added.
The organization said it was working towards realsiation of the United Nations millennium development goal to enhance knowledge and eradicate the spread of HIV/Aids through education.
One of the beneficiaries of the scheme, Amai Gumbo said: “CeSHHAR is filling a critical gap as it has become very difficult to send a child to school, especially acquiring a profession. We have been rescued.’’
Hopley, Ushewekunze, Stoneridge and Epworth are the communities with largest numbers of child prostitutes and dropouts in greater Harare. CeSHHAR has moved in to help the situation by offering professional courses that include hairdressing, baking and academic studies. It assists by paying tuition fees.
A beneficiary of the project Tracy said: “As for me, I never thought I would be given a second chance and I want to use it wisely .I dropped out of school when I was 16 years and got into a marriage that did not last.’’
BY ERASMUS MABHEBHURA