Skip-A-Meal Campaign

Update posted by Bianca Marie Dayrit On Sep 04, 2017

"I have a strong hatred for child-marriage. I have suffered terribly from it, and it is the great sin for which our nation has to suffer." -- Swami Vivekananda, Indian monk and philosopher

Does anyone imagine someone’s teenage daughter getting married as a solution to a better future? How about seeing an adolescent neighbor tying the knot with a girl younger than him to fulfill his family’s wishes? Many of us have the privilege to finish school, get a job and work to save and provide a steady income for our kin. What most of us don’t realize is that there are parts of the world that allow situations such as child marriages to occur in the bounds of the law.

According to the data provided by UNICEF, there are 720 million females and 156 males who married before reaching their 18th birthday. Out of those statistics, there were girls who registered at 15 years old and below[1]. This has been the norm in the said country, and for years, this has been largely problematic.

Section 22(1) of the Marriage Act (Chapter 5:11) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe attempts to provide legal protection for children from entering marriage before the age of 18 for boys, and 16 for girls[2]. This has been deemed as unconstitutional in a recent court case where two young women, Loveness Mudzure and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi, proved that “it was a form of child abuse which trapped girls in lives of poverty and suffering.”[3] Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba led the bench in declaring that Section 78(1) of the Constitution should uphold that the minimum age for marrying is 18 for both girls and boys, parallel with Amendment 20 of 2013.[4] Early this year, Vice President Emmerson Mngangagwa informed the public of the plans to create a law that would increase age of girls to give consent to sex, from 16 to 18 years.[5]

While these are all promising, humanitarian efforts to protect girls and boys from entering marriage young should not stop in legislation and government endeavors. Here’s what we can do to help.

Simuka Africa Youth Foundation was created in 2006 with the main goal of empowering youth by providing more opportunities for personal and professional growth. Its founder, Ezekiel Zekiya Mudimu, together with the Executive Committee, has successfully conducted programs such as A Healthy Zimbabwe Begins with Me, HIV and AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health Education through Sports and Recreation, Medical and Treatment Outreach Programs, International Citizen Services Project, and so much more.

Their biggest and most impactful project to-date is the Skip a Meal Campaign, which started in December 2016. For this to work, donors would be asked to skip a meal or drink, and donate its equivalent amount to the organization. Proceeds of this campaign go to initiatives that would help Zimbabwe communities in feeding families and curing waterborne diseases and the like[6].

We all strive to be relevant, to be of good use to society. While this is a good start, more people should get engaged. We should generate more talks, to encourage more individuals and groups to donate. It would only take a few clicks:

Like Simuka Africa Youth Foundation’s Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/simukafoundation/

Like Skip A Meal Campaign’s Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/skipamealcampaign/

You may find more information about the organization and its projects, you may visit http://simukaafrica.org/.



[1] https://www.unicef.org/zimbabwe/media_16105.html

[2] http://www.parlzim.gov.zw/component/k2/download/12...

[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-childma...

[4] http://nehandaradio.com/2016/01/21/concourt-bans-u...

[5] http://allafrica.com/stories/201703090344.html

[6] http://simukaafrica.org/2016/12/12/how-much-a-lunc...

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Bianca Marie Dayrit

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