Our Environment, Our Responsibility

Child Protection Training: Sinazeze Town, Southern Province


The Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) held a Child protection training on the 28th August, 2023 at Sinazeze Town in Sinazongwe District, Southern Province. Members of the of CEJ savings groups, headmen, teachers, businessmen and women, including Kaluli development Foundation youth center sponsored 42 teenagers, 23 females and 19 males from the age of 12 -18 years to participate in the training.

Training Justification

Children born, growing up or living in mining communities like Nkandabwe and Maamba areas etc., in Sinazongwe District are adversely affected by mining activities. Children are more vulnerable to the impacts of mining more than adults. Exposure of children to chemical waste carelessly discharged into the local streams and air pollution have lifelong health effects on children.

In addition, unfair displacement from communities, fertile land for farming, which is a source of livelihood for many families, coupled with unfair compensation by mining companies to these families has a telling effect on the physical, emotional, mental and social aspect of children. Incessant reports of abuse of these vulnerable are received as follows;

  • Most children dropout of school when the family is displaced, the boys at a tender age start fishing or join parents in charcoal burning. The girls are end with unwanted pregnancy or are forced into early marriages.
  • Truck drivers ferrying coal from mining companies in the district take advantage of the same vulnerable girls and are exploited or used for sex, cooking, drawing water and washing the driver’s clothes as they wait for their turn to load coal.

Its for the reasons mentioned above that Center for Environment Justice (CEJ) Sinazongwe office that is running the Resilient Initiative for Sustainable Environment (RISE) project, which is targeting women and youths on social-economic livelihoods and capacity building; mobilized the community members to conduct the training.

Training delivery

Outcome 1.

Prevent violence and exploitation of children especially the girl child, by parents, truckdrivers ferrying coal and other members of the community in Nkandabwe area.

Outcome 2.

Ensure children and youths affected by pollution, unfair displacement and compensation are imparted with self-protection skills and access child protection services from service providers outside and within Sinazongwe District.

The district coordinator for CEJ Jeff Kayamba as a Child protection expert was the trainer and was assisted by the community social auditor for Nkandabwe ward Ms. Gertrude Matelo.

The trainer created a child friendly atmosphere during the training where all participants were treated with respect and kindness. The children participated fully using visual aids for focus group discussion. They spoke about their personal experiences and appreciated the training to learn new skills to protect themselves from abuse.

The trainer focused on;

  • Assertiveness skills (speak up for your rights without malice)
  • Self esteem (act confidently and walk with a purpose)
  • Four categories of Child abuse; 1. Violence 2. Neglect 3. Exploitation 4. Abuse (know your rights to prevent abuse)
  • Children’s responsibility (do your responsibilities as a child at home, school and the community as you fight for your rights to be addressed)


Participant Feedback

  • Children complained of being sidelined by their parents or guardians from participating in important family decisions, e.g. selling land to mining investors without their input.
  • Some participants complained of parental negligence, that some parents don’t provide the basic needs of a child, and this causes some girls to indulge in transactional sex or early marriage to cope with poverty and hunger situations.
  • Many participants complained of lack of youth recreational centers for children to spend leisure time and build their social fabric. Thus, they are forced to patronize drinking places where they start abusing alcohol and drugs.


Lessons Learnt

  • Child protection skills can help children to speak up and protect themselves from all forms of abuse.
  • Most mining companies or investors have no deliberate budgets for child protection programes in their areas of operation despite knowing the adverse impact of their mining activities on children.
  • Community members even government, don’t include the plight of children when negotiating for compensation as they only focus on money during resettlement or displacement agreements.



More child protection trainings will be conducted in both chiefdoms of Sinazongwe targeting mining communities in the district.