A Luanshya based clergyman Pastor Benard Mweupu has bemoaned the high number of child headed homes in Luanshya’s Baluba area.
Speaking when International Needs Network made a donation of food stuffs and clothes worth about KR40, 000 to orphans and vulnerable children of Baluba area, through Misaka Home Based Care and Development yesterday, Pastor Mweupu said it was very worrying to see orphans looking after themselves.
“The situation is worrying and this is because either their parents have died or they have deserted them (Children) due to poverty.
“The situation is very bad, we have two children in our custody who have been deserted by their parents and we do not know where their parents have gone, so these are some of the challenges we are facing, it is not that everyone is an orphan, ” he said.
Pastor Mweupu said it was sad that children as young as 10 were looking after themselves and wondered what type of citizens this country was going to have in the few years time.
“We must address this problem urgently, otherwise it is a time bomb,” he said.
He said his organisation is currently looking after about 79 orphans in the area with the assistance of International Needs Network of Canada and the United States of America.
Pastor Mweupu urged government and other stakeholders to work together and fight the problem if the future of the children and the country is to be safeguarded.
The clergyman said his organisation in partnership with other international organisations such as International Needs Network has been helping the orphans and other vulnerable children in the area, with food and school requisites on a monthly basis but said the support was not enough to cater for every child in the area.
He observed that because of insufficient help, some children have forced themselves into the streets where they were now indulging themselves in various illicit activities.
Pastor Mweupu added that his organisation has been offered land by the Luanshya Municipal council within Baluba area where it intends to put up a centre that would reduce the burden of looking after orphans.