By Steve Ephraem in Chipinge
A 42 bed boarding facility that was availed on 20 July 2022 at Checheche High School in Chipinge is set to relieve girl learners from sexual exploitation.
The boarding facility which was constructed at a cost of USD60 000 by a development partner, Plan International, shall benefit girls from areas such as Rukangare, Madhuku, Munapasi and Mwanyisa who were forced to lodge behind shops at Checheche Growth Point.
According to one of the beneficiaries, Vester Jani who is doing Form 2 at the school, bush boarding had been exposing girl learners to dangers such as drug abuse, sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Whenever I try to study, I would get disturbed by men who try to lure me into sex. Some girls would try to entice me to take illicit drugs such marijuana,” said Vester.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Richard Gabaza commented development partners such as Plan International for catering for the girl child’s well being.
“The USD60 000 invested here should be put to a better use. We are expecting a satisfactory pass rate at Checheche so that we don’t mock the support that has been given by the development partner,” he said.
Owing to Chipinge as border lying district, drug trafficking is so rife since drug peddlers take advantage of the porous border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
A recent research conducted by Platform for Youth and Community Development (PYCD), revealed that approximately forty-eight percent of school-going females are abusing drugs in Chipinge district.
The research revealed that 5 in every 10 learners between 13 and 19 years (teenagers from form 1 to form 6) are abusing drugs and that number was triggered by Covid-19 lockdowns.
Checheche is much vulnerable to drugs owing to homemade drugs tycoons who are operating illegal breweries in the growth and sell the stuff for as little as 2 Rands or its equivalence in local currency. This amount is affordable to learners even without involving their parents.