World Vision Malawi has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that girls in the country have access to quality education and that they are protected from various abuses including forced marriages and sexual abuses.
Speaking during the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child at Mitondo Primary School in traditional authority Chitekwere in Lilongwe District on Friday, World Vision Director of Programs Charles Chimombo said the organisation strives to promote the well-being of children and equality of girls.
Chimombo said about 30 percent of girls get pregnancies when they are teens and that about 20 percent of children are abused before they are 18 years old, a development that is worrisome and needs urgent attention.
“The problem that we have is that children are facing a lot of abuses before the age of 18 and as world vision, we are working with government to help and support the wellbeing of the children and one way to do that is to protect them from various abuses including early pregnancies and early marriages.
“In our strategy, we have put up advocacy and child protection as one of our strategic focus in all the areas that we work, as such we are working with various stakeholders including Chiefs, Parents and Ambassadors to help and rally all Malawians behind girls so that all of them are protected and at the end of the day we can achieve the wellbeing of children in Malawi,” he said
In her remarks, First Lady Monica Chakwera said the fight against girl child abuses needs collective efforts and further asked parents to play a major role by making sure that their children are safe at all the times.
The First Lady said there were several challenges, including poverty, selfish motives, cultural beliefs and hunger that hinder girls from furthering their studies and pursuing their dreams.
“Every time I think about the welfare of a girl child, I will make sure that girls in the country are safe and they are accessing quality education while chasing their dreams. We need to come together and make sure we protect them by all means,” she said
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati said her ministry will ensure cases of girl child abuse are minimized by working hand in hand with other stakeholders including police and courts.
Kaliati said through the National Strategic Plan of 2018-2023 her ministry was working towards ending child marriages and was positive this will be achieved by 2023.
Speaking as a role model during the event, High Court judge Zione Ntaba encouraged young girls to work hard at school if their dreams are to come true.
Ntaba said everyone has potential to achieve anything in life but focus and determination are necessary tools.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :