Alliance One Tobacco Malawi rewards Dowa  pupils

One of the country’s tobacco buying and processing companies Alliance One Tobacco Malawi Limited has  disbursed various learning materials to some 60 primary school pupils in Dowa who did well during a quiz competition organized by the company under its Agriculture Labour Practice (ALP) program.

Chimenya (centre) handing over the branded school bags to the girl
Some of the quiz winners

The disbursed prizes included Alliance One branded schools bags, mathematical sets, exercise books pens and rulers among others, were given to each of the 60 learners who were drawn from the four primary schools under Chimungo and Madisi zones.

Speaking during the handover ceremony held at Mauni primary school in the district on Tuesday, Alliance One Tobacco Malawi ALP coordinator Godfrey Chimenya said his company decided to introduce and sponsor the quiz competition in the two educational zones as one way of fighting cases of child labour.

According to Chimenya, through the ALP program his company is encouraging parents in all tobacco growing areas in the country to send their children to school and avoid using them as a source of labour in their tobacco fields.

He further explained that the quiz was being deliberately conducted after normal learning hours in the four schools as one way of ensuring that parents should not force their children to do any tobacco related work soon after knocking off from school.

“As a company we decided to introduce and sponsor this quiz competition here in Dowa because we don’t want children to be used as a source of labour in tobacco fields and estates but instead they should be going to school in order for them to become productive future citizens of this country,” said Chimenya.

He added that his company is committed in complimenting government’s efforts to achieve a sustainable long-term tobacco production by ensuring that all its contracted tobacco growers are implementing the ALP program.

According to Chimenya, his company’s main objective is to completely eliminate child labour and other related labour abuses encountered by workers in all the farms where Alliance One sources tobacco across the country.

In his remarks Chimungo Zone Primary Education Advisor (PEA) Steve Dan commended Alliance One Tobacco company for introducing the academic quiz competition in the four selected primary schools which he said has helped many children to speak better English.

According to Dan, the prizes which have been given to the pupils by the company will go a long way in motivating them to work hard in class as well as encourage other children in the area to enroll for school.

“On behalf of the whole Dowa district education office, let me commend Alliance One Tobacco Malawi Limited for sponsoring this education quiz competition here in Chimungo zone as well as in the other zone in Madisi as this will go a long way in motivating these children to work hard in class and achieve their goals,” said Dan.

He however urged the company to extend the quiz competition in all the schools in Dowa so that many pupils should benefit from the program as well as help in eliminating cases of child labour in tobacco estates in the whole district.

The four primary schools which took part in the Alliance sponsored education quiz competition were Mauni, Katengeza, Kazumba and Chibwata.

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