Malawi NGO rescues 75 sexually exploited teenagers in Lilongwe

A Non-governmental Organization called Theatre for a Change, has facilitated the re-admission of 75 teenagers to different schools in Lilongwe who were found in different places such as rest houses and bottle stores.

Theatre for Change Programme Manager, Rhoda Ndovie said the number is likely to increase as the campaign was still underway.

Ndovie said her organization is implementing Alliance for Behaviour Change (ABC) programme with funding from the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).

“This is a child protection project which was rolled out in March, 2011 with an aim to ensuring that children’s rights are being protected.

Ndovi: A lot of children are sexually abused

“The organization has Child protection Officers who go round to look for teenagers who are being exploited in different ways.

“So from March, 2011 to March, 2012 the organization has rescued 33 teenagers but now this December, 2012 we are talking of 75 and all are now back to school,” said Ndovie.

She said it had been established that many teenagers were indulging in immoral behaviours due to peer pressure.

According to Ndovie, the ages of the rescued teenagers range from 13 to 16 years and that once re-admitted, the organization monitors them every week.

“We pay them school fees and monitor their school performance to ensure they are on the right track,” she said.

Ndovi said there are a lot of children being sexually exploited in the name of sex work.

“A lot of people do not distinguish between a sexually exploited child and a sex worker and the people who are supposed to protect these children are the ones abusing them. These are children of sex workers, street children and from the rural areas,” she said.

“There is a law that protects these children but in the absence of law enforcement, their vulnerability will remain at the increase. I have learnt that the Police are the major stakeholder in this field and also the communities through the child protection teams. There is a lot of work here to be done.”

Theatre for a Change

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