Human Rights

Local NGO in role modelling drive to curb child marriages in Mchinji

Girls Activists Youth Organisation (GAYO), a local non-governmental organization, is conducting role-modeling and mentorship sessions to curb increasing cases of child marriages in Mchinji District.

The goal of the activities, which are implemented under Rusa Community Engagement and Sponsorship Project, is to improve the well-being of children through community transformation, according to the organization’s field officer, Karen Seyani.

Speaking on Friday during role-modeling and mentorship sessions at Rusa Primary School in Traditional Authority Kapondo in the district, Seyani said reports show that there are rising cases of child marriages in Mchinji District which force a number of boys and girls to drop out of school.

“As GAYO, we came up with role-modeling and mentorship sessions in schools to motivate the learners to stay in school.

“Today, we came here with different people working in government institutions and NGOs in Mchinji to inspire children with their stories, challenges and successes so that they can appreciate that anything is possible in life,” she said.

A police officer interacts with learners during the session

Rusa Primary School Deputy Head Teacher, Jacob Mbewe, expressed gratitude for the gesture, saying it will motivate the learners to continue working hard in school and achieve their ambitions in life.

“As Rusa Primary School, we are happy because these role-modeling and mentorship sessions will help our learners to work harder in school despite their poor backgrounds.

“The children are happy to see different people working in various departments, some of them from Mchinji, which is a rare example for the children to look up to as their role models in life,” said Mbewe,

A Standard Seven (7) learner, Mary Benjamin, 15, commended GAYO for bringing the initiative to her school.

Benjamin: we have learnt that we should work harder

“We have learnt that we should work harder in school so that we become responsible citizens in the future. We also have learnt about our rights and responsibilities as children so that we should be able to know when we are being abused by our guardians and other people in our communities,” she said.

Representatives from Malawi Police Services, Gender and Development, and District Education Offices were part of the role-modeling and mentorship sessions.

GAYO is implementing ‘Rusa Community Engagement and Sponsorship’ Project together with Anglican Council in Malawi with funding from World Vision Malawi.

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