Evangelical Association of Malawi on ‘stop early marriages’ campaign

In a bid to promote education among the youth in the country, Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) has embarked on a project to sensitize young boys and girls in Ntchisi on the dangers of early pregnancies and marriages.

Evangelical Association of Malawi Coordinator Howard Kasiya- We need them back to school.
Lezinah Luntha- am happy to be back to school

The project focuses on withdrawing young boys and girls from abusive homes and early marriages and put them on bursary in various secondary schools while others are being trained in vocational skills, courtesy of Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA).

Speaking at the end of a three-day seminar that took place at Thope Lodge in Mponera, Dowa district on Thursday, EAM National Coordinator for Health Commission, Howard Kasiya said young people have potential in contributing to the economic growth of the country only when they are fully empowered and shaped towards that.

Kasiya said during the seminal, they brought together about 73 young boys and girls from different Secondary Schools who were withdrawn from child marriages and abusive homes to sensitize them on various issues including Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender based violence.

“As you are aware that we are having higher records of sexual reproductive health and Gender based violence cases in Malawi, we have given them skills and trained them how they can avoid such instances as they focus on their education endeavours.

However, Kasiya said child marriages has a negative impact on girls and boys well-being, saying it deprives them the ability to realize key human rights, including their rights to health, education and to be free from physical, mental and sexual violence.

He also said despite facing a number of challenges, Evangelical Association of Malawi is committed to working with other partners in eliminating child marriages in the country and similar projects are currently being run in Karonga and Thyolo as well.

One of the participants, 18-year-old Lezinah Luntha who is a Form 2 student at Chinthembwe Community Day Secondary School in Ntchisi said the seminar was fruitful and eye opening saying she now has a reason why she should work hard to achieve her dreams.

Luntha said she once got married at the age of 14 and stayed in marriage for 4 years until she recently got withdrawn by Evangelical Association of Malawi and she is now back to school on bursary something she described as a relief.

“I have been someone’s wife for 4 years, but it has been not easy as I thought in the first place. I got married because of poverty but it was another hell. The coming in of Evangelical Association of Malawi is a relief to me and I am happy to be back to school,” she said .

She further urged young girls in the country for focus much on their education than rushing into marriages saying they will regret.

However, she also thanked EAM for the support.

Government, Press Trust, Chiefs and Faith Leaders are key partners in the project.

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