Cynthia Dube, Chronicle Reporter
AT least five in every 10 new HIV/Aids infections are among young women aged between 15 and 24, an official from World Education has said.
Speaking during a belated Mother’s Day Ladies’ Luncheon hosted by SOS Children`s Village at a Bulawayo hotel, World Education programmes coordinator Ms Banele Mandaza said young women have the highest incidence of HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ms Mandaza said women must educate their children about sexual intercourse to curb the increase of HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe.
“Gone are the days where you will wait for aunties to teach young girls about HIV/Aids. I understand that it is uncomfortable to talk about sex with your biological children but l think this is the time for women to educate their children. Do not leave it for teachers because teachers are chasing after school pass rates,” she said.
“Most of the children between the ages of 15 and 24 who are HIV/AIDS positive don`t have careers and they don`t know what to do with their lives. Mothers, you must discipline and give basic education to your children because life is not about holding a certificate or a degree.”
A director in the Office of the Minister of State for Bulawayo Province, Ms Sichelesile Ncube, said mothers should spend time with their children so that they are quick to notice problems. “Being a mother is a full time job. Mothers must ask their children about their school work, their feelings and their careers. They also have an obligation to teach children to pray because it is important to catch them while they are young. Mothers should also evaluate strengths, weaknesses and their children`s passion,” said Ms Ncube.
Mr Promise Sibanda, a youth who was raised by SOS Children’s Village in Bulawayo, said mothers should be proud of themselves. “I am what l am because of SOS mothers. I remember when l went to stay at the institution, l had nothing, I had no one but now l`m into the transport business. I have lots of cars, I’m a deacon in a local church and I am now married,” he said.
Mr Sibanda gave each woman a gift of chocolates and some sweets to appreciate their presence.
SOS Childern’s Villages communications officer Ms Zvikomborero Zimunya said the institution keeps more than 10 000 children. “We have children in places such as Mashonaland Central, Bindura, Waterfalls and here in Bulawayo. We are appealing to the public to assist us in cash or kind. We would really appreciate if people offer their services. For example if doctors can come and treat our children for free,” said Ms Zimunya.
SOS National director Mrs Knowledge Chikondo said their institution keeps the children until they reach the age of 23.
“When they reach the age of 23, they leave our institution but we continue supporting them. We give them money for rentals and to buy food. Those who are at tertiary education we support them financially until they finish their first degree,” said Ms Chikondo.