4 NGOs form Malawi alliance to amplify children’s rights

Malawi’s four major child-focused  non-governmental organizations, which include Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages International and World Vision International, have launched an alliance aimed to amplify the voice of the children in Malawi.

Koch: Our partnership is driven by one vision

Save the Children Country Director, Kim Koch, who spoke on behalf of her counterparts at Plan International, SOS Children’s Villages International and World Vision International, said their alliance is based on a commitment to work together, leverage each other’s potential and collaborate to truly put children and their voices at the centre of our work.

Koch further disclosed that their partnership is driven by one vision – to have an unprecedented impact on the wellbeing of children.

“We want to hold governments accountable for fulfilling the SDG Agenda by 2030 and ensuring children’s rights. We hope to achieve this by amplifying children’s voice, collaborating in focused, impactful, bold and innovative ways, leveraging the many existing national networks and platforms and providing evidence and impact.

“We have pledged to put this commitment into action and this launch is part of that,” she said.

Koch disclosed that the rights of children have been impacted by Covid-19 in various ways.

According to her, the most marginalized and deprived children have been hit the hardest by Covid-19 and existing inequalities have been exacerbated.

“Progress that has been made against the Sustainable Development Goals is at risk of being disrupted or even lost. Each of our organizations in the Joining Forces Alliance have recently conducted a number of studies including on the impacts of COVID 19 on girls; the impact on children’s rights to protection; health care, education, child poverty and social protection,” said Kochi.

The Principal Secretary (PS) for Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Roselyn Makhumula, said the Government of Malawi welcomes this initiative because it will help to strengthen its efforts in ensuring that children’s rights are realized and fulfilled to help children grow and develop to their full potentials.

Makhumula emphasized that the sustainable development of Malawi depends on their health and well-being.

“In Malawi, 52 percent of the population are children below the age of 18. Investing in children is critical and the country will not achieve sustainable development if we do not invest in children. Investing in children is investing in our future. Therefore, all stakeholders should work with government in its quest to invest in children.

“Alliances like the CRN are particularly important at a time when significant threats like COVID-19 and regression in the state of children’s rights can be seen not only in Malawi, but globally,” she said.

Mwanza Children’s Parliament Speaker, Victoria Ganamba, disclosed that children in Malawi continue to face challenges to enjoy their rights to the fullest.

She cited a lack of access to decision-making processes and access to internet services as some of the major factors hindering them from maximizing and achieving their potential.

“Most children in remote areas have limited access to digital tools, which can enable them to access e-learning lessons just like children in urban areas. So, withdrawing them from school and stay at home has not helped them at all because most children did not have access to e-learning,” said Ganamba.

She asked stakeholders to start reversing the challenges children are facing, particularly during the virus pandemic

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