Chiefs in Dowa district have joined Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in ending harmful cultural practices that affects children’s education in the district.
Speaking in an interview, Inkosi Msakambewa of Dowa district said that there are still harmful cultural practices which are affecting the rights of children in the district.
“Here in Dowa there are still harmful cultural practices that still exist and these detrimental cultural practices include; enforced marriages and kusasafumbi and this is affecting children’s rights especially right to education,” said Msakambewa.
He added that, his fellow senior chiefs and other local leaders are currently working with NGOs which are implementing projects aimed at promoting children’s rights and curbing harmful cultural practices in the district.
Some of the NGOs which are implementing their projects in Dowa district include; Girls Empowerment Network (Genet), World Vision and Plan Malawi.
Recently the NGOs in coordination with Dowa district social welfare office conducted children’s parliament where children bemoaned that they are highly affected with some of the cultural practices such as kusasafumbi and early enforced marriages.
The children urged the government and its partners to sensitize traditional leaders and parents on the rights of children so that cultural practices that violate child rights should be eradicated.
Director of Children Affairs under the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, McKnight Kalanda said that government is raising awareness to promote children and women rights.
He added that, Government is planning to implement a project called ‘spotlight initiative’ in 9 districts saying the project will help to deal with issues of ruinous cultural practices and ending violence against women and children.
Genet Gender Programs Officer, Twambilile Kayuni said that her organization in partnership with other NGOs intends to create safe environment for children by promoting their rights and also empowering them to speak out concerns regarding their rights.