Celebrating a Century of Change for Children in Zimbabwe

Monday 30 September 2019

Save the Children staff members at the centenary celebrationsRecently, Save the Children Zimbabwe was joined by its donors, partners, civic society organisations, government representatives, and the media in celebrating 100 years of making a difference in children’s lives. The centenary celebrations were held in Harare.

The event was graced by the Principal Director from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Clifford Matorera who was standing in for the Minister, Ms Sekai Nzenza. In his key note address, he congratulated Save the Children on turning 100 years and urged the organisation to continue working to ensure that every child reaches their fullest potential.

“To Save the Children I say, yes you have turned 100 years and we congratulate you on your centenary celebration. However, that is not to say you have now achieved your mission. Yours is a continuous mission. Each day more children are born and the challenges facing these children are also many. It is therefore clear that the work and contribution of Save the Children is still relevant in our context,” said Matorera.

The event included remarks from a number of speakers, who include Ian Vale who is Save the Children’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, a representative from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education who spoke about their experience as an implementing partner, a testimonial from a qualified chartered accountant who participated in Save the Children programmes from an early age, a panel discussion on ending child marriages, an  exhibition of the programmes and a live jazz music performance.    

Save the Children Zimbabwe Country Director, Yvonne Arunga (left), Save the Children Regional Director, Ian Vale (middle) and a jazz band member dancingDuring the panel discussion, all speakers called on the government to expedite the alignment of marriage laws with the constitution of Zimbabwe, so as to protect children from the practise of child marriage. The discussion concluded that ending child marriages in Zimbabwe requires collective efforts from the government, civic society organisations, religious organisations and the community at large.

Invited guests had an opportunity to visit the organisation’s exhibition stands and got an appreciation of the work being done to improve the welfare of children through the organisation’s five main programmes which are Education, Health and Nutrition, Child Rights Governance, Food Security and Livelihoods and Child Protection.

Save the Children representative explains some of the work being done under the Child Protection programme to a guestThe celebrations came as a time to look back and reflect on the impact of the organisation’s work on the lives of millions of Zimbabwean children since its initial entry to Zimbabwe in 1983.