Lloyd Mwale in KADOMA
CHURCHES, under the newly-established umbrella body of the United Churches Council of Zimbabwe (UCCZ), held a three-day Youth Conference here to raise awareness on the dangers of drugs and substance abuse.
The campaign is also against early child marriages, gender-based violence and the participants were drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces.
A few also came from South Africa.
The Youth Conference facilitator, Vaiti Veshoko Apostolic Church Archibishop Chido Mapungwana, said:
“Our youths in Zimbabwe are prone to dangers of drugs and substance abuse, early child marriages, suicide and other issues.
“Peer pressure is very rampant so, as the churches, we saw it fit to bring them together through this Youth Conference to raise awareness of the dangers our youths are exposed to.
“Our youths are mainly drawn from those areas which are still marginalised but drugs and substance abuse, early child marriages and gender-based violence has descended upon them and so it was imperative to raise awareness as early as possible.”
UCCZ National Youth chairperson, Kudzai Malcolm Beta, bemoaned the lack of knowledge in youths when it comes to drugs, suicide and early child marriages.
“Most youths of my age are using drugs, going into early marriages without the knowledge of how this could affect them in the future.
“This conference has opened up our eyes to the effects of drugs and early child marriages.”
Felicia Mugova, from Hurungwe, who is a first year student at the University of Zimbabwe, said:
“I now have the knowledge about the dangers posed by drugs and why youths must desist from drugs.”