About 1,000 Zambia Sugar employees are expected to undergo HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence (GBV) sensitization in an effort to reduce rampant cases of the vice and disease, company officials have revealed.
The Zambia Police recently revealed that a total of 9,988 cases of GBV were reported countrywide in the second quarter of 2023 compared to 7,589 in 2022 indicating an increase by 2,399 cases and translating to a 31.61percent.
Company Corporate Affairs Director, Eugene Chungu, told Zambia Monitor in an interview on Monday in Mazabuka after conducting the sensitisation among members of the public.
He said with a total of 7,200 employees, Zambia Sugar, saw it fit to start fighting the scourge by raising awareness within the company through interaction with workers from all levels.
Chungu noted that the exercise aimed at educating communities on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and GBV in various areas of the sugar-producing town, would culminate into the National Voluntary, Counseling and Testing Day on August 14, 2023.
“We are talking with employees, Zambia Sugar has partnered with Young Women Christian Association -YWCA- so that we could enhance our programme at the Zambia Sugar Estate. We continue with our HIV/AIDS programme as we incorporate issues to do with GBV,” he said.
He said the company had an Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy which helped curb possible cases and ensured that the work place remained productive and conducive for every employee – regardless of the position they hold.
“GBV issues should not be common in either our homes or work places, so when employees experience such campaigns, they will be able to identify abuse in general in whichever way you look at it.” Chungu said.
He said the company would strive to ensure that it becomes a place where no employee was abused by virtue of who they are and objective was rid all types of abuses by the end of the campaign by reporting to relevant authorities.
Chungu said that the company had decided to take advantage of its huge number of employees as a starting point to help spread GBV related information in order to help mend divided families owing to the devastating effects of the vice.
The initiative which started about two years ago through Nakambala Private School had scaled up to different townships in the district which had seen a sharp rise in GBV reports and many instances are not reported.
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